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Cumberland County Schools to continue face mask mandate


The Cumberland County Board of Education voted to continue with its mandatory face mask policy for the next month during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday.

With two board members absent, the board voted 6-1 on the mandatory policy, with Nathan Warfel casting the lone opposition vote.

The policy requires students, staff members and visitors to wear masks in the county's public schools.

School officials have said that the mandate follows health guidelines and that their priority is to operate schools in-person all year as safely as possible.

The board is required by state law to vote each month on whether masks are mandatory or optional.

The board, which met at the Education Resource Center on Elementary Drive, also voted to proceed with HVAC upgrades for Douglas Byrd Middle and Douglas Byrd High schools, Pine Forest High School and Lewis Chapel Middle School.

According to agenda materials, Ivey Mechanical Co. LLC of Fayetteville submitted the lowest bid for the Douglas Byrd High (about $1.9 million), Douglas Byrd Middle (about $1.07 million) and Pine Forest High schools (about $3.7 million) HVAC upgrades.

Superior Mechanical of Randleman submitted the lowest bid for the Lewis Chapel Middle project, a total contract price of $2.57 million.

The Pine Forest High and Lewis Chapel Middle jobs will utilize ESSER funds, the agenda said.

The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund provides districts with emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had and continues to have on elementary and secondary schools.

The Cumberland County Board of Education is scheduled to meet again Feb. 8.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Cumberland County Schools, school board, face masks