WHITEVILLE, N.C. -- Columbus County Schools and Whiteville City Schools are moving closer to merging.           

The county's board of education held a special meeting Monday and unanimously voted to consolidate the two systems.

Columbus County Schools Superintendent Alan Faulk says the move will help update facilities in the schools. Nearly 75 percent of the facilities are more than 50 years old.

Faulk added that the two school systems should prioritize the needs of the county and not the individual districts and consolidation is the only way to make that happen.