Photo credit: Tom Holdsworth Photography

Jones County Net-Zero School

Jones County School District
Trenton, NC
Financing Used For
Loan Amount
$8 million in New Markets Tax Credits
AMCREF Community Capital

BlueHub’s partnership with the public school system in Jones County, North Carolina, exemplifies how we draw upon the full breadth of our expertise.

The existing school facilities were in an unmanageable state of disrepair with a backlog of over 60 years of deferred maintenance. With one penny on the tax rate raising only $70,000, the County would have had to almost triple property taxes to build the school through traditional delivery methods. The County struggled for over 10 years to finance the project. Finally, the County concluded that the only way to cost-effectively construct this new school was through a public-private-partnership, led by FirstFloor, a development company that specializes in educational facilities.

FirstFloor brought in several other investors and partners to design, develop, fund and build the facility.

BlueHub’s New Markets Tax Credit financing played a major role in constructing a new net-zero-energy school that returns more energy to the grid than it consumes, and provides a beautiful and healthy learning atmosphere.

This investment in sustainable educational facilities is not only a new benchmark for eco-friendly school buildings—it also represents dramatic economic benefits for this rural low-income community, estimated to save Jones County $700,000 per year now and $40 million over the life of the building.

This rural community has a rich history in agriculture, as well as a powerful sense of responsibility for the natural environment. This building connects the existing culture of stewardship in nature to a profound responsibility for the built environment, making Jones County, for its size, one of the most environmentally responsible communities in the nation.

The building supports 100 jobs in the community, paying an average of 94% above the local living wage, and at least 90% of staff are hires from the surrounding community. For a rural community that faces major obstacles, the school signals a new direction.

Read more about the impact of this investment with AMCREF Community Capital.

“The new school opened up the doors for other things to happen in our community. It’s bonded everybody closer.”

Sheryl Ward a lifelong Jones County resident