This article was published in the Lenoir News-Topic.

The Caldwell County Board of Education moved forward Monday on financing of the new Hibriten district middle school, which will replace the existing William Lenoir Middle and is scheduled to open in fall 2015.

The school board voted to buy 14 acres of land for the middle school adjacent to land the district already owns. The district will pay $8,000 an acre.

The board also approved a resolution requesting that the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners borrow up to $14.5 million for the project, and approved a lease agreement between the board and the county. The board will lease the property from the county for $1 a year and, when all debt is settled on the property, the board will buy the property back from the county for $100.Since the board now owns three pieces of property – the middle school property it already owned, the property purchased on Monday and the Hibriten High School property – in the same place, the board also voted to combine that land into one tract for county records purposes.

The board also voted to request that the City of Lenoir annex the new middle school property into the city limits. That request will now go to the Lenoir City Council for a vote.