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Newton-Conover City Schools will have a little more than $1 million for the new middle school in an interest-free loan.

During a recent Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Dr. Barry Redmond asked the board to approve a resolution to accept $1.23 million from the 2009 Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB) program through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). These funds are part of North Carolina’s $275.77 million received.

Redmond said various schools in the state that applied will receive a portion of the state's money based on the district's student population.

The money allows NCCS to borrow less to build the new Newton-Conover Middle School and pay it back without interest. Redmond said it will help Catawba County with NCCS receiving these funds.

"It would be irresponsible on our part to not take advantage (of this loan)," he said. "It saves the taxpayers dollars."

The new middle school will be built on Northern Drive near County Home Road in Conover. Construction starts in summer 2010 and completed in 2012.

Redmond said the current middle school will be converted to Thornton Elementary, and the Newton-Conover Health Science School will take the old elementary school. Redmond said the health science school will be directly across from the Newton-Conover High School, which will make it easier for the shared activities between the schools.

The school system expects to spend $20 million on the new school's construction. Redmond hopes the cost will decrease with bids at the first of the year.

The board members unanimously approved accepting the interest-free loan.