Duplin County’s Schools and Communities Continue to Thrive Thanks to Performance Contracting

Duplin County is located in the Coastal Plain region of eastern North Carolina. The County enjoys a friendly, rural environment as well as ready access to the beaches of the Atlantic and some of North Carolina’s major cities. Residents there are proud of many things about their community, and they are especially proud of their outstanding Duplin County Schools (DCS).

True to the community-centered focus in Duplin County, the school system’s mission is to “work collaboratively with the community to prepare all students for career, college, and life success.” DCS carries out its mission at 13 schools including eight elementary/middle schools, one junior/senior high school, three traditional high schools, and one early college high school.

The schools and administration buildings in the DCS system range in age from 17 to 65 years. In 2011, the administration began compiling a list of repairs and upgrades needed throughout their DCS system. The administration was able to build a prioritized list of needs with the help of the facility manager at each building. The list included major overhauls of numerous HVAC and other mechanical systems that were failing to provide the indoor environment needed for students to best learn. Energy-inefficient equipment was also widespread, resulting in unnecessarily high operational costs.

The DCS administration wanted to make the needed improvements but, as with many other school systems, declining state and local revenues was the biggest barrier to making it happen. The administration knew they needed to find a creative solution to fund the work.

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