The school district has got legitimate reason to worry whether county commissioners could scuttle the Forest Ridge High project by not approving any money to pay for road improvements.
School administrators have estimated that it could take another $5.7 million from the commissioners to fund state-mandated road improvements around Forest Ridge High, which is scheduled to open in 2012.
But at today's meeting, a majority of the commissioners complained about the rising cost of the road work. In particular, complaints came from Lindy Brown and Joe Bryan, who had both flipped their votes last year to approve purchasing the site.
The commissioners might just turn down providing the additional $5.7 million. It's not like the old days where the school board could more easily find the money from somewhere else to pay for the road work.
The state budget cuts have cut into the district's fund balance. The recession has limited the amount of money that could be borrowed for construction work.
The school system is looking at ways to cut costs from elsewhere in the project, such as delaying the football stadium. But some infusion of new money from commissioners will likely be needed.
Earlier at today's meeting, school board candidate Debbie Vair was among a number of people who spoke out against Forest Ridge High. The increased road costs have given critics more ammo for fighting construction of the school on that site.
Also speaking out today against the project was Chris Malone, one of Vair's District 1 school board opponents.
School administrators have said they won't need to make the formal request to commissioners for more money until January. You can expect lobbying from the school system between now and then.
Forest Ridge is likely to be one of the topics at Wednesday's joint meeting of the school board and commissioners.
Click here for the article from Gabe Starosta.