EDENTON — The Edenton-Chowan Schools Board of Education has voted to incorporate two designs chosen by community residents into the district’s new high school planned at the current John A. Holmes High School site.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday to instruct LS3P Associates Ltd., the architecture firm working on the design, to use the “Story 1” design for the new school’s front facade, which is visible from Broad Street, and the “Story 3” design for the back entrance, which is visible from Oakum Street and the Holmes athletic complex.

“After careful consideration of the input received from community sessions, online surveys, and choices made by over 850 citizens for their design preference, the Edenton-Chowan Schools’ Board of Education is excited to announce their unanimous decision to replace the existing John A. Holmes High School with a gorgeous facility that, architecturally, will be a combination of Story 1 and Story 3,” a press release states. “This decision blends elements of both (designs) into a single design that is rooted in the Edenton-Chowan community’s rich history while looking toward the future.”

The decision follows a joint meeting of county commissioners and school board members last week where Edenton-Chowan Schools Superintendent Michael Sasscer announced that a majority of respondents to the district’s survey about the new school were split over two designs.

According to Sasscer, 49 percent of respondents favored the “Story 3” design for the new high school, while 41 percent favored the “Story 1” design. Another 10 percent favored the “Story 2” design for the school, he said.

Sasscer said at the time the school district had received 783 responses to its request for input on the three proposed designs. The responses came from an online survey, flyers sent home with students, and discussion with school staff, he said.

Story 1 is a classic look inspired by the 1767 Courthouse and E.A. Swain Apartments, a former school. The design calls for a brick facade and front entry that includes columns.


Story 3 was inspired by some of Edenton’s industrial buildings, the former Peanut factory on East Church Street and Edenton Cotton Mill. The design features more windows, a contemporary design in tune with 21st century learning.

In its press release, the school board thanked citizens and community leaders for their input on the project’s design. The board also thanked the town of Edenton and Destination Downtown Edenton, Inc. for its resolutions of support for the new school.

Both Destination Downtown Board President Nelson Spear and Edenton Mayor Jimmy Stallings presented proclamations of support for the new high school project at Tuesday’s meeting.

Now that the look of the facade for the building has been determined, LS3P will work on a blueprint for the school’s interior design. The design will be brought to the faculty and staff for their review before being finalized, Sasscer said.

A joint committee of Chowan commissioners and Edenton-Chowan Board of Education members will meet on March 22 to discuss first how the facility will be built, and then how it will be funded.

Current plans are to have the building built in two phases. Phase one includes the majority of the classroom space. Phase two will include the gym, cafeteria and auditorium.

Officials are still discussing the possibility of building a swimming pool at the school, Sasscer noted. At the last joint committee meeting, Commissioner Bob Kirby asked for a cost estimate and other information about the possibility of a pool.