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WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui. While Keung posts information and analysis on the issues, keep us posted on your suggestions, questions, tips and what you're doing to cope with the changes in Wake's schools.

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School board candidates question Forest Ridge High road costs

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The Forest Ridge High School road improvements have become a campaign issue in the District 1 school board race.

Both Debbie Vair and Chris Malone, the two opposition candidates in District 1, are harshly critical of the fact that school staff are estimating it will cost $7.4 million to pay for road improvements around Forest Ridge High. As noted in today's article, the school board may need county commissioners to provide $5.7 million.

No response yet from Rita Rakestraw on the situation. She's the District 1 candidate most supportive of the current school board.

Forest Ridge High, located off Forestville Road near U.S. 401 in northeast Raleigh, is located in District 1.

It's not surprising that Vair is jumping on the latest Forest Ridge High issue. She's one of the neighborhood leaders who've argued the school shouldn't be built because slaves may be buried on the property.

Here's what Vair has on her web site:

"Say NO to Forest Ridge High School! Now they estimate the road improvements could cost taxpayers ANOTHER 7.4 million dollars. Where do they think this money is going to come from? We also stand to lose a great part of North Carolina History! To find out more please visit my website www.savetheslaves.com."

In an e-mail message sent to the media, Vair said she's mobilizing a group of people to show up at Monday's commissioners meeting to speak out against the project.

Malone is also taking shots at the growing price tag and the location of Forest Ridge High.

Malone calls it "unfathomable" that Wake didn't find a site closer to Rolesville. He also says it's "poor planning" that they are building Forest Ridge High only two miles away on Forestville Road from Heritage High.

"The traffic and the polution will be a mess and the unneccesary disruption in the lives of people all along Forestville and Ligon Mill Road will be terrible," Malone wrote in an e-mail message. "Ligon Mill Road, for one, is already severely backed up in the am. It will be at least as bad as Forestville. They aren't even considering approaches more friendly to the neighborhoods. Finally that much money is a boondoggle and another example of how this board seems to think money grows on trees."

UPDATE

Here's Rakestraw's statement on the situation:

"What's most important is what goes on in the classroom, not where it's built.  Whatever location saves the taxpayers the most money I will support, so we can keep more of our tax dollars inside the classroom for things like foreign languages in the elementary schools." 

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After years of neglect and

After years of neglect and vandalism of the graves, Vair discovers her concern for slaves ... get real.

Topic Getting Old

Yes, get off of the slave thing.

Oh dear, oh dear

Association with Stan Norwalk should be the greatest red flag there is.  Here is the guy who said that a computer system that would provide public access to government spending data would create too many questions, and when called on it tried to cover his tracks and claim that he thought it would cost too much money to implement.

This is the last thing we need in WCPSS: more secrecy.

Where have we heard this before?

What's most important is what goes on in the classroom, not where it's built.

That sounds familiar...

Oh yeah, now I know why.

What's most important is what goes on in at the end of the bus ride.

Congratulations on your membership in the status quo, Ms. Rakestraw.  Don't address the potential waste of  millions of dollars while cutting some 500 teachers; just dole out more of the usual "for the children" or "for the schools" empty rhetoric.  I am sure you support the lowest cost option, but you won't do anything about making sure it is chosen, based on your comment.

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About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.
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