What's the best way for the Wake County school board to spend $59 million in school construction savings?
As noted in today's North Raleigh News article, staff have recommended using the $59 million to build two new elementary schools that could open in 2013. Staff have identified three sites: U.S. 1 in Wake Forest near the Franklin County border, the closed North Wake Landfill in North Raleigh and Scotts Ridge Elementary in Apex.
But administrators aren't recommending which two out of that trio should be selected. Staff have asked the board to discuss the issue at Tuesday's committee of the whole meeting.
The $59 million comes from various projects in the current $1.056 billion school construction program coming under budget.
Asst. Supt. Joe Desormeaux said staff looked at where crowding was the greatest and where the school system could quickly begin construction. At a cost of $25 million per elementary school, the savings covered the cost of building two schools.
In the section of the county that includes the Wake Forest and North Raleigh sites, elementary schools are projected to be at 110.7 percent of capacity in 2013. In the area that includes Scotts Ridge, elementary schools are projected to be at 105.6 percent in 2013.
Although staff is recommending building two elementary schools, Desormeaux said the board could go another way. The board could tell staff to build on other elementary school sites owned by Wake.
The board could tell staff to only build one elementary school and use the remaining $34 million on something else, such as land acquisition and renovations to existing schools.
The board could also use the money to build one middle school, costing around $50 million. But Desormeaux said crowding in middle schools wasn’t as much of a concern as at elementary schools.
With a single high school costing more than $70 million, Desormeaux said staff wouldn’t recommend using the savings to start work on a high school unless they could guarantee that money would be found elsewhere to complete the project.
Below are handouts from a recent facilities committee meeting.
Click here for a sheet listing the different options.
Click here for a sheet showing projected elementary school crowding in 2013.
Click here for a sheet showing projected middle school crowding in 2013.
Click here for a sheet showing projected high school crowding in 2013.
Click here for a sheet showing projected modular and mobile use in 2013.
Click here for a sheet showing enrollment projections in 2013.
Click here for an elementary school map of possible sites.
Click here for a middle school map of possible sites.
Click here for a high school map of possible sites.