HENDERSON, N.C. -- Northern Vance High School could become a thing of the past.

The Vance County Board of Education is proposing to consolidate Northern and Southern Vance High Schools into a larger Southern Vance High School. They also want to merge Henderson's two middle schools, Henderson and Eaton-Johnson.

If approved, the middle school merger would take place next school year and the high school consolidation would happen in the 2019-2020 school year.

In a public presentation, the board of education said the reasons for considering consolidation include years of declining enrollment and financial flexibility.

Both high schools and Henderson Middle School are only halfway at capacity and the board estimates the mergers would save the district $2.4 million per year.

However, some parents in Vance County still had questions about the plan.

"If you're merging two schools, you're not going to need everybody from one middle school and everybody from one high school," said Michael Sutera, the parent of a Dabney Elementary student. "You're not going to keep all of your employees. What about the jobs? It's not a lot, but we're going to lose a few jobs, and we need to get more jobs in Henderson."

The board will hold two community conversations about the consolidation plan: one on Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. at Southern Vance High School, and another on Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Eaton-Johnson Middle School.

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