There's a healthy dose of skepticism among members of the Wake County school board majority to the idea that abandoning Forest Ridge High would cost $15.5 million.
As noted in today's article, administrators said switching sites now would push the opening back form 2012 to 2014. This two-year delay would lead to $10 million in classroom trailer costs, $4 million in inflated construction costs and $1.5 million in redesign work.
Unlike the old board, new board members are taking the staff info with more reservations.
"When they say it will cost $15 million more, I’ll believe it when I see it,” said school board member Chris Malone, chairman of the facilities committee, in the article,
School board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman wondered whether administrators are using “scare tactics” to discourage scrapping the problem-plagued Forest Ridge project. She noted how staff had uderestimated the cost for road work and water and sewer improvements for Forest Ridge by nearly $6 million.
She also noted how a recent report from a task force that recommended staying the course with the current Forest Ridge site overestimated the cost of one of the Rolesville alternatives by $1.36 million. Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles had turned out to be right when he said the group had not factored in the presence of a sewer line on one of the parcels.
The big question is how much would it cost for trailers to deal with overcrowding caused by delaying the high school. More units would be needed at Knightdale High while Wake Forest-Rolesville and Wakefield high schools would keep their ninth-grade centers until the high school is built.
Keeping those ninth-grade centers in use for the high schools means they couldn't be used to early start elementary schools. Additional trailers would have to be brought in somewhere to deal with elementary school overcrowding.
Eagles suggested that the board consider housing high school students temporarily at the new Rolesville Middle School. But Asst. Supt. Chuck Dulaney said they need Rolesville Middle to open in 2013 to deal with crowding at Heritage and Wake Forest-Rolesville middle schools.