EDENTON — Chowan County residents began reviewing proposed designs this week for Edenton-Chowan Schools’ planned new school to replace the current John A. Holmes High School.

In a Facebook post, Edenton-Chowan Schools Superintendent Michael Sasscer said LS3P Associates Ltd., the architecture firm drawing up plans for the school, had incorporated public input into the three designs.

“(LS3P) has been listening to you and working hard to come up with three designs that individually tell a different story about the history of our community and Edenton-Chowan Schools,” he said.

“Story one” for the school is centered on Edenton’s designation as “one of the most beautiful” towns in America.

“This design focuses on historical, traditional elements that reflect the town and its charm while giving it the monumental presence to inspire pride in its students and the community,” the “story one” document states. “Local examples of this style include the existing Swain Apartments, John A Holmes High School, and the historic Courthouse. Hallmarks of the exterior include traditional proportions, symmetry, columns at the entry, classical ornamentation, and brick detailing.

“Inside, the building will create modern, efficient spaces for 21st-century learning,” the document continues. “The 1723 Town Common is central to this plan and will remain a thriving gathering place for a variety of events, traditions, and celebrations.”

“Story two” is centered on the current John A. Holmes High School as part of Edenton’s history.

“This design focuses on the character, proportions, and style of the existing façade while providing a more distinguished and ceremonial entrance along Broad Street, and opening the rear of the building to more expansive, light-filled learning environments suitable for 21st-century learning,” the document states. “The street-facing brick façade frames the front courtyard and ties into the town’s historic architecture, while the interior looks towards the future and will serve the generations to come. The historic Town Common will continue to serve the Edenton community in the same prominent location as a thriving and vital part of civic life.”


“Story three” is centered on Edenton’s history as an industrial center, particularly its textile history and the Edenton Cotton Mill.

“The industrial mill style reflects Edenton’s traditions while lending itself well to modern uses,” the document states. “This design borrows from traditional materials and proportions while creating an inspiring, future-focused, and light-filled learning environment for all students. The design is warm, welcoming, and familiar but with contemporary elements that support 21st-century learning.

“Large windows, collaboration areas, and flexible spaces encourage maximum adaptability for the building to evolve over time,” the document states. “Inspired by the efficiency of a machine, the continuous growth of a garden, and the forward motion of a ship, this design focuses on helping students chart a course for the future. The existing historic Town Common will remain in place as an integral part of community life.”

All three designs, as well as a master plan for the campus, will be displayed at the former Visions building at 307 S. Broad St., Edenton, through Monday.

For those who can’t make it to the Visions building, Sasscer recommended visiting the website, https://www.ls3p.com/johnaholmeshighschool/.

After viewing the proposals, residents should visit the website and fill out a survey and share their thoughts about the school, Sasscer said.

“I have seen a sneak peek of what our architectural team has designed, and I am blown away by what’s in store for our future,” he said. “I can truly say this will be a project for the people, and one we all will be proud of.”

The Edenton-Chowan Schools Board of Education reviewed the designs Tuesday during its quarterly meeting. Afterward, the board planned to visit Bertie County High School to tour the auditorium.

Contact Nicole Bowman-Layton at nlayton@ncweeklies.com.