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Clay County to open first new school in 40 years

The new Hayesville Primary School opens Monday to students and teachers, providing a brand-new place of learning in Clay County for the first time in 40 years.

“Everybody’s excited about it,” said Clay County school superintendent Dale Cole. “Having a brand-new school in a town the size of ours, that’s a big deal.”

This new school will serve approximately 25% of the student population, including students from Pre-K through second grade. It is located on a single campus with three other Clay County schools, Hayesville Elementary, Hayesville Middle, and Hayesville High.

Hayesville Primary School opens with new amenities like a cafeteria, gymnasium, and playgrounds that are age appropriate for primary school students.

Another benefit to this new space will be the added nurse’s stations. Clay County will now get to set their nurses up on each campus so that they no longer have to carry all of their equipment with them when meeting with a student or have to walk them back to the central office to treat them. “They’ll be able to serve needs at the school,” Cole said. “Which is important. Especially now.”

The new school cost $14 million to build, with $10.2 million coming from money raised by the Education Lottery and the remaining $3.8 million from local funds appropriated by the Clay County Board of Commissioners.

“We probably would not have been able to make it happen without the grant being available from the lottery,” said Cole.

Hayesville Primary School is the latest school to open in North Carolina through the Needs-Based Public-School Construction Fund.

The program, funded exclusively by money raised by the lottery, helps small, rural counties with critical building needs. Since its inception, 26 school districts across North Carolina have received grants, resulting in 26 new school or buildings and the replacement of 29 older, existing schools.

For more information or to arrange a visit to the school, contact Hayesville Primary School Principal Lindsey Hodnett (828) 389-3763. First bell on Monday is at 7:50 a.m.

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