Dr. Emily Marsh, Superintendent of the North Carolina Fort Bragg District schools, has announced that in the 2014-15 school year, Fort Bragg will open Kimberly Hampton Primary School, which will replace three existing Fort Bragg schools.
"Our new Hampton School will be a 21st Century facility and will serve a projected enrollment of approximately 620 students," said Marsh.
On one end, the changes mean a state of the art facility opening. On the other hand, it could also mean some job cuts.
"The closing of the three schools, Pope Elementary, Holbrook Elementary and Murray Primary, will impact the number of employees needed to accomplish our mission next year," Marsh said. "Though this is not a large segment of our employees, there will be a decrease in the number of administrators, teachers and support staff needed next year."
Most of the 800 students will be transferred to the new school opening in August. The other kids will be split between two other Fort Bragg schools.
Meanwhile, not all teachers and staff will be transferred to Hampton School. About 80 of them have received notices there could be what is called a "reduction in force," because of decreased enrollment.
Marsh said the base will try to mitigate the effect on workers by offering early retirement and separation incentive pay.
"It is our hope that if employees take advantage of VERA (Voluntary Early Retirement Authority) and VSIP (Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay), they make that choice, along with our regular retirements and resignations that could come from PCS moves and other relocations that will greatly minimize this effect," Marsh said.
At this point, it is unknown how many of the 80 or so employees will be eligible for those options and how many could actually be cut. The new school will employ about 78, but it is not as simple as just transferring the staff. They would have to reapply for those jobs.
All of the changes take effect this summer.