KNIGHTDALE, N.C. — Knightdale High School is trying to find the right combination. Only underclassmen will fill the halls this year.
"We start out that way because the seniors obviously want to remain at the school they are at. Juniors want to remain there, so we open high schools with ninth- and 10th-graders," principal Marvin Connelly said.
Electricians and bulldozers underscore the fact that everything is brand-new, including the students. The original Knightdale High School was torn down years ago leaving a void.
"It creates a new spirit in the town of Knightdale and the surrounding community," Connelly said.
Establishing a new school is not just building a new facility. Programs like athletics start from scratch. This year, freshmen and sophomores will fill the varsity teams for every sport except football, which will just play junior varsity.
"Our football team will be fairly competitive this year because it will play other ninth- and 10th-graders, but our other teams are going to struggle a little bit," athletic director Guy Blough said.
Wake County opened seven new schools this year -- one in Apex, two in Cary, two in Wake Forest and another two in Knightdale. The new schools that opened this year were funded by the $550 million bond referendum that passed in 2000.
The bond proposal that passed last fall will fund 13 new schools and a pre-kindergarten center. Renovations at 16 schools and repairs at 61 schools are also part of that plan.