Things didn't go as planned for the school board on Thursday.
The board held a lengthy closed-session discussion on the ongoing dispute with Cary over road improvements near Panther Creek High. It's holding up the approval needed to use modular classrooms on campus.
The board's plan was to return to open session for an explanation on television of the school district's side of the case. There was only one problem.
The board walked back into the main board room to find the lights and sound off. The crew from Raleigh Television, which records and broadcasts the meeting, had left for the night.
Jumping back a bit, here's a quick recap on the issue.
Cary has required the school system to construct an additional northbound through lane on N.C. 55 from McCrimmon Parkway through the intersections of the ramps at N.C. 540 because of the installation of the modular classrooms. It’s expected to cost $1.4 million.
The school system asked for a waiver from doing the work. Cary Town Council members said in November that they couldn’t legally grant an exemption.
Town staff was told not to approve the site plan for certificates of occupancy for the modular units until the school system committed to do the road work.
Amid the growing complaints from the school system, the Town Council extended an oliver branch two weeks ago. The Town Council agreed to give the school system up to three years to start the work and four years to complete the project.
It still wasn't enough for the school board.
After Thursday's closed session, school board members said they want to meet with the Town Council to resolve the fight.
School board members said they want to at least mitigate the cost. For instance, Lori Millberg asked if they could get some kind of break by allowing only seniors to drive on campus.
(That suggestion was met with a laugh from Cary Town Councilman Don Frantz in an interview after the school board meeting. He said the school system can use the modulars once they sign the bond to start the work.)
Unless it's resolved soon, the modulars might not be ready at all this school year. They were originally supposed to be ready before classes started in August.