Wake County Schools

Wake schools work on expansion wish list

Posted August 14, 2012

Wake County Public School System

— Wake County school district leaders on Tuesday afternoon continued the delicate process of trying to develop a bond referendum that would help pay for new schools needed to ease crowding in the district.

The nearly five-hour work session didn't result in a vote, but it did provide more insight into how leaders hope to move forward with plans to build 24 news schools and renovate 28 existing schools over the next four years. 

In 2011-12, 77 schools in the county were above capacity while 44 schools were below 90 percent enrollment. Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata says the new student assignment plan decreases those numbers, but it doesn't end the need for new space. 

Rapid growth is expected to continue across the district, with an estimated 4,000 new students expected to join the system each year from 2012-13 to 2016-17. Construction of an elementary school costs around $25 million and a high school comes with a $75 million price tag, district leaders said.

"West Cary is obviously an area where we do not have the capacity we need," Tata said. "Downtown Raleigh, we have capacity issues."

A bond referendum for school construction and renovation could appear on the Wake County ballot as early as May.

Wake school board work session Wake school board Aug 14 work session, pt 1

"The needs will probably require some tax increases, and we do have to be very responsible in recognizing that we can't put together too big of a bond," Wake County school board member Jim Martin said. "But likewise, it can't be too small of a bond."

School board committee members said their initial plans are to prepare for a worst-case scenario. They said they realize more discussion is needed before they make final recommendations on how many schools to build and how many to renovate.


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  • Screw WrAl Aug 15, 2012

    "WCPSS needs to release the enrollment data per school, per class, and per track if year round. Then we'll decide. Otherwise, how do we know where the space shortage, if any, is?"

    Easy, it's at the year round schools. Which are not full. Some not even running 4 tracks. So I've decided for me and the answer is,


  • oceanchild71 Aug 14, 2012

    Just a name - considering that public schools cannot turn a student away whereas Charter schools get to pick and choose who they admit, I would say the public school system as a whole is much more successful than the Charter school system. Yes, there are exceptions for both sides, however, public schools have to enroll the child.

    As far as parental enrollment, yes, in a perfect world, all parents would volunteer, etc. However, many parents work, have other children to care for, have no transportation, etc. so that limits the volunteering opportunities. Also, here in Wake County, there are background checks that are mandatory and depending upon the type of volunteering, the background checks take forever and it becomes more of a burden rather than something people want to do. And even if you had the highest "clearance" of a background check last year, if you want to volunteer this year, you have to do it all over again and you must go into the school during school hours to register.

  • ConservativeVoter Aug 14, 2012

    Kick the children of illegal immigrants who don't pay taxes out of the schools and there is no longer a capacity problem.

  • glarg Aug 14, 2012


  • Whatintheworld Aug 14, 2012

    ChicoDusty, you are correct. Schools get their money from property taxes. I have a beautiful house in Wake County.

  • Whatintheworld Aug 14, 2012

    Missdawg (Nice name), Being a teacher in Wake County my wife and myself buy many things for the classroom for children. Do we get compensated? No. Again, do not say anybody pays any more taxes then I do.

  • NiceNSmooth Aug 14, 2012

    Missdawg, I am not loafing the system. I pay my taxes. I have 2 jobs and my wife has 3 jobs. We both are teachers here in wake county. So do not give me this "handout" stuff. I pay just like you. I work my butt off to give my family all that it needs. I get nothing for free!

    agreed.... but note schools are funded by your property taxes not employment

  • NiceNSmooth Aug 14, 2012

    You are exactly what is wrong with society today. Everyone wants a handout for their children but isn't willing to chip in themselves. I am tired of paying for everyone else's kids when I already pay higher taxes than you do. Oh, and to answer your question, I am D - childless.

    I in no way want a handout but I am sick of paying into a system that is constantly waisting the money I already pay and seeing reports of this employee was caught embezzeling my tax dollors and now they want more?? no clean up what you have 1st then we will talk about more

  • Whatintheworld Aug 14, 2012

    Missdawg, I am not loafing the system. I pay my taxes. I have 2 jobs and my wife has 3 jobs. We both are teachers here in wake county. So do not give me this "handout" stuff. I pay just like you. I work my butt off to give my family all that it needs. I get nothing for free!

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Aug 14, 2012

    Monolithic Dome schools are the answer.

    Seriously. LOOK AT THIS !!!

    This technology will save us Millions of Dollars.

    Monolithic Domes last centuries and require almost zero maintenance. If there’s a severe weather event, all the children go to the gymnasium and they play basketball or patty-cake until everything blows over...no worries at all. ( www.monolithic.com/topics/buy-a-school )

    The question is...Why don’t we mandate these structures for our schools? They cost the same to build, they pay for themselves in 20 years with saved heating/cooling & maintenance costs...and they can withstand the toughest hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires & earthquakes.

    People build houses out of these too. ( www.monolithic.com/stories/the-eye-of-the-storm/photos )