Some of you guys may have had a chuckle over Saturday's Triangle Politics item about Wake County school board member Chris Malone lobbying for an extra exit in the new school board room in Cary.
Malone and board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman had lobbied the board last week to reconsider the Jan. 25 decision to stick with the staff-recommended design. They were lobbying for changes that could have added anywhere from $1,200 to $60,000 more in costs.
The end result last Tuesday was a one-hour discussion on the shape of the table, members' sightlines, security, audience access and places for the superintendent and board attorney to sit.
Malone had wanted a relatively cheap $1,200 change to place a second door that board members could use to exit in the event of an emergency. The current plan calls for only one door being directly behind board members.
Malone brought up the December incident when a man fired at county school board members in Florida, without hitting any, then killed himself.
"If you have a situation like you had down in Florida ...," Malone said, members would be able to get out twice as quickly if another door were set into the back wall.
Goldman wasn't happy that the room design will result in some audience members facing the backs of board members. She told board members to consider that the $60,000 would be used for a room that should serve the board for 20 or more years.
Click here for the design that the school board agreed to use.
Click here for an alternative design that staff said could have cost $60,000 more to move the location of the board table away from the center of the room. It would have also allowed for more seats for the public.