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New Selma Burke Middle School mascot, colors announced
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New Selma Burke Middle School mascot, colors announced

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Mooresville Graded School District Chief Operations Officer Michael Royal revealed Tuesday during a Board of Education meeting the school mascot for the new Selma Burke Middle School will be a bear and the school colors will be black and gold.

Royal also gave the Board of Education the first glimpse of an artist rendering for the new school to be built on 70 acres off Rinehardt Road near N.C. 115.

Burke, an African-American woman born in Mooresville in 1900, was a sculptor most known for her bas relief portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Burke’s portrait later became the inspiration for the president’s image that was placed on the dime.

The two-story middle school will have a sixth and seventh-grade wing on the first floor with the eighth-grade wing on the second floor, Royal said. The school will have a media center, a performing arts and visual arts classrooms, a dance classroom and band and art classrooms, Royal said. The school will have a full gym with nearly 1,000 bleacher seats and an auxiliary gym, he said. The school will also have a football stadium and track, baseball and softball fields, tennis courts and auxiliary fields.

Construction bids are due mid-July with ground-breaking expected in August, Royal said. Construction should be completed by July 2023 with the school opening to sixth-eighth grade students for the 2023-24 academic year, he said.

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Royal also discussed the two construction and renovation projects at South and Parkview Elementary schools. Both schools are receiving upgrades to HVAC systems, new kitchen and dining area and a gymatorium, he said. These projects should break ground by April with an estimated completion by February 2022, he said.

In other business, the board recognized Chief Financial Officer Terry Haas who is retiring at the end of this month. Haas has spent 13 years with MGSD and more than 33 years in public education, said school officials.

Board member Debbie Marsh called Haas a mother figure. “She has guided us through some really challenging and difficult times,” Marsh said. “If you think about it while she’s been CFO, we did digital conversion, had a major recession. We’re in a pandemic and our finances are very strong and that’s not the case in a lot of places, a lot of districts in our state and that’s all due to Terry’s expertise.”

Board member Leon Pridgen said even auditors smile when they work with Haas because they know the financial figures will be in order. “How do you find superlatives to express excellence?” Pridgen said, of Haas.

“It’s just been an honor to be part of this wonderful family,” said Haas. “It’s bittersweet for me.”

In other business, the board recognized Mooresville Intermediate school custodian Rossi-Maris Granda with the “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty” award.

The board also recognized MGSD school nurses for all their work they have done this year helping keeping students safe and healthy as well as the additional work of helping staff with COVID-19 related issues. The board presented nurses Rachel Alcantara, Dana Annas, Brenda Austin-Johnson, Ashley Clinard, Ashley Schaen, Megan Simpson and Shannon Stone with certificates and tote bags.

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