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Carteret County Schools Growth And The New Interstate 42 – Construction Or Upgrades?

This article on Carteret County Schools anticipated growth related to Interstate 42 and the need for either new construction or significant upgrades is not an announcement, but rather an article for residents to discuss what they think the best options are to meet the new population of school children that will likely come with the new prosperity in the county.

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Latest News – January 2020

Having written this article in August of 2019, we felt sure the issue of Carteret County Schools needing to start thinking about expansion, new construction, or upgrades was going to be an issue soon.

Administrators and principals in the western part of the county are concern about rapid population growth now that we are starting to talk about a new bridge to Bogue Banks and the Havelock bypass under construction.

Specifically, the principal of White Oak Elementary in Cape Carteret has asked Carteret County Board of Education members and county commissioners to tour White Oak as they set forth to begin thinking about how to fit more classrooms in to this school, or begin talks on either expansion or new construction. This tour will happen on Thursday, January 30, 2020.

We will continue to monitor this.

Explosive growth and new development is coming to Carteret County NC. The new Beaufort bridge, the announcement in August of 2019 that work is starting on the new Havelock bypass as part of the I-42 project, and what we saw in Wilmington after I-40 became reality is all we need to know about what is in the future for schools here.

There will be an increased population. There will be new business expansion and startups. Cherry Point is projected to get much bigger. Residential and commercial construction is projected to skyrocket in places along Highway 24, Highway 70 in Newport, Highway 101, and potentially even as far as North River and Merrimon.

With this information, we are left with a problem that will be interesting to watch. Will the Carteret County Schools in NC be able to handle this new population growth by upgrading existing schools, building new ones, or both?

Our projections are that, especially for Newport, Cape Carteret, and Beaufort, new schools will definitely have to be built. We may even see a new school in down east areas.

For Morehead City and Bogue Banks, new construction will likely replace old construction as there is essentially nowhere to build unless the county eases restrictions on the height buildings can be built. If they do not do this, then population growth will be forced only in to Beaufort, Newport, the Mill Creek area, and possibly down east.

If the county does allow for taller buildings to be built, then population growth will also be a factor in Morehead City and Bogue Banks and the issue of whether upgrades to schools like West Carteret, Morehead Primary, Morehead City Middle, and Morehead Elementary will happen, or if we see new one’s being built.

Our projection is that new schools will have to be built in Newport, Cape Carteret, and along Highway 101 as these towns are going to be at the epicenter of a new population, especially given how fast and big Cherry Point will get.


Given the information in this article, what do you see the County School Board, County Commissioners, and the Superintendent doing to meet the needs of students in our community when a new influx of people living in the area happens?

Do you believe our current schools can meet the needs of potentially 20,000 new residents? Will additions to existing schools happen, or will there be outright new construction?

What role will increased technology play in how children get educated?

What are some areas that we did not consider in this article as it relates to public education in the county?


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Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

One thought on “Carteret County Schools Growth And The New Interstate 42 – Construction Or Upgrades?

  • August 10, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Definitely in Newport and Beaufort you will see the need for new schools to be built along with additions being added to existing schools. The termination of the bypass and Cherry Point growing means incredible growth along Hwy 101 and Hwy 24.

    I think Morehead schools will also need at least additions added to existing schools. In far Eastern Carteret, I will be interested in seeing what happens in that region of the county.


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