If only one of the two new Wake County elementary schools does open for the 2012-13 school year, it could be Richland Creek Elementary in Wake Forest.
Superintendent Tony Tata told school board members this week that there appears to be a greater need for Richland Creek than for Abbotts Creek Elementary for the upcoming school year based on the capacity needs of their respective areas.
Tata said they'd wait until after the end of the second round of school selection to recommend whether to delay the opening of either or both schools. Both new schools, slated to open in modular campuses until their permanent buildings are constructed, had few applicants in Round 1.
Richland Creek would use the modular campus at the DuBois Center before eventually relocating to a home off US 1 near the Franklin County line. Abbotts Creek would use the modular campus next to East Millbrook Middle School in North Raleigh before relocating to a site next to the former North Wake Landfill.
When marketing the schools to families, school board member Christine Kushner suggested that staff point to the success that Forest Pines Alimentary had using the DuBois Center for its modular campuses.
Initially, some parents sued to block the district from using DuBois. Forest Pines was severely underenrolled in the first year as parents chose other options. But Kushner credited then-Principal Freda Cole with making it work and enrollment shot up in the second year at DuBois.
As this budget handout shows from Tuesday's meeting, staff said delaying the two schools would have little operating impact on the operating budget from a facilities perspective.
But staff also estimated it could cost $625,000 per school to provide bus service if Wake keeps the current three-tier plan. Staff said they wouldn't need to add additional buses if the board agreed to the proposal to move to a two-tier system.