Should Wake County's next middle school be built without a track or should the district buy land so that one can be built on site?
M-8, located off Leesville Church Road in northwest Raleigh, is a small property that initially was considered for use as an elementary school. So when the decision was made to open it as a middle school with a smaller than typical property size, no track was included in the design.
But school administrators asked the school board's facilities committee last week to consider authorizing the acquisition of enough land around M-8 so that a track can be built.
Click here for handouts from the meeting. As you can see, pretty much all of the new middle schools have tracks.
The exception among the new schools is Moore Square Middle School, which was deliberately built on a small parcel in downtown Raleigh without a track or an interscholastic athletics program. Since then, Wake has made it possible for Moore Square students to play interscholastic sports at another middle school.
School administrators said they want to make sure that it doesn't become the new standard in Wake to build middle schools without tracks if no changes can be made to M-8's design.
Board member Kevin Hill, chairman of the facilities committee, said he agrees that it should be considered an exception rather than the rule for new middle schools in Wake if no track is built.
M-8 is also incidentally the only new school planned right now for the next bond issue to open on a year-round calendar. It's supposed to help deal with the loss in middle school capacity in northwest Wake caused by Leesville Road Middle School's conversion back to a traditional calendar.
It's also supposed to help keep up with the desires of parents of year-round elementary school students to have a middle school in that area on the same calendar.
Wake is accelerating the opening of M-8 by putting design money from the last bond into the project. This way it would be one of the first projects that would be funded in the next bond.