Edenton wants Holmes' impact study


By Nicole Bowman-Layton
Chowan Herald

Friday, November 30, 2018

EDENTON — Edenton officials are hoping to persuade both Chowan County and the Edenton-Chowan Schools to keep John A. Holmes High School inside the town limits.

To help make its case, the town is asking Edenton Town Council to authorize a study of the school’s economic impact on the town.

The council’s committees meet tonight to consider Town Manager’s Anne-Marie Knighton’s recommendation the town hire N.C. State University’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education to conduct the study, which Knighton says will cost an estimated $25,000.

The study is in response to a proposal to construct a new high school outside the town’s limits. A joint committee created by the Chowan County Board of Commissioners and Edenton-Chowan Schools is studying the matter.

“We are going to have to make a persuasive case to the county commissioners to keep the school here,” Knighton said. “We’re going to need to have data.”

Money to fund the study would have to be found within the town’s current budget, Knighton said, since she’s not aware of any grants that would pay for it.

Mayor Roland Vaughn recommended teaming up with the Edenton-Chowan Economic Partnership, which is concerned with preserving and growing the county’s economic base.

“If it (moving the high school) has a negative impact on Edenton, it will have a negative impact on the county as well,” he said. “It’s an expensive study, but it wouldn’t hurt to do it.”

If the study is approved, Vaughn will create a citizen’s committee to help gather data on the school’s economic impact. Town Planner Elizabeth Bryant said the study is expected to take a few months.

The committee also is expected to recommend the full Town Council adopt a resolution that supports keeping the high school in Edenton.