Local News

Wake County Commissioners Vote on School Land Purchases

Posted August 7, 2007

— Wake County commissioners voted to buy land for an elementary school in Cary and postponed a decision on a controversial purchase in Garner.

At a meeting Monday, commissioners voted 5-1 to approve the purchase of two tracts, totaling nearly 20 acres, off Alston Avenue in northwestern Cary, for more than $2.6 million.

Costs for infrastructure improvements will run around $220,000, commissioners estimated. Improvements will include building new turning lanes and widening existing ones on Alston Avenue.

With an agressive construction schedule, the elementary school is expected to open in 2009, officials said.

Commissioners voted to table a proposed purchase of nearly 72 acres in Garner for a new high school. The move effectively postponed the decision on that purchase indefinitely.

Commissioner Harold Webb introduced a motion to purchase the land, but the motion was not seconded by another commissioner.

Before dropping the motion, commissioners discussed vocal opposition to the site from the town of Garner.

Commissioners indicated they want the Wake County Board of Education to work with Garner town leaders to come up with a new location.

At earlier meetings, Garner town leaders opposed the site because of potential traffic problems. They also said increased busing from southeast Raleigh would increase poverty rates in Garner schools.

A previously proposed purchase of a 46-acre site in Rolesville did not come up during the meeting.

County commissioners began putting school land purchases through a more intensive process after questions were raised about deals the school board struck earlier this summer.

In June, the Board of Education backed out of a buying 32 acres in Apex after two appraisals set the land value at less than half of the purchase price of more than $8 million.


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  • colliedave Aug 7, 2007

    With an agressive construction schedule, the elementary school is expected to open in 2009, officials said.

    Couldn't more than one school fit on twenty acres of land?

  • poohperson Aug 7, 2007


    If Garner does not want to contend with the same issues all of us face, then they should form their own school system. We need the schools and if the price is fair, and this is where the land is at, then BUY it. Why do all the communities have so much power in commanding our school district? It is always Garner, and Apex. Get on board with the growth and its after effects, stop blaming the BoE and show some responsibility for the growth they have allowed in their own towns.

  • Amusedone Aug 7, 2007

    Possibly they let it out to the public because public disclosure is the law?

    Pyle, you are correct that poverty does not necessarily equate to non-english speaking. It is a fact, however, that children from lower income households--particularly those below the poverty level, regardless of race--generally have less support in their home, are less prepared academically, and therefore need more help just to reach the minimum levels of achievement. While this is not true in all cases, it is more often than not. Busing in more kids to Garner, while likely providing some relief to the kids being bused, will decrease the time teachers have to spend with those considered more "average" or "above-average".
    Basically what Garner is saying is that it is Raleigh's problem to deal with and shouldn't become their problem. Local problems, local solutions...

  • Izzy Aug 7, 2007

    Why in the world does WCPSS let out to the public where they are looking for land. Of course the price is high. Think about supply and demand folks. Never show all your aces!

  • Lasata Aug 7, 2007

    i live in Garner and graduated from garner high school six years ago and i think that there needs to be another high school the one thats there is getting packed and its hard to get the help that you need!!!

  • superman Aug 7, 2007

    The appraised value of the land has little or nothing to do with the asking price. It depends on what the person is selling the land for and what the buyer is willing to pay. 30 or 40 acres of land in a good location to build a school is the key. If the school doesnt buy it-- some developer will-- shopping centers, office buildings, houses, apartment buildings. But then there is also another option, buy land in the surrounding counties where land is cheaper and bus--bus- bus,.

  • Gerbil Herder Aug 7, 2007

    just kidding, I really do not care what you do...

  • Gerbil Herder Aug 7, 2007

    I actually live in Garner and about a mile from where the proposed site is and trust me, it is not going to increase the poverty rates...if you do not like the fact that there are non-English speaking students in our public school system then put your kid in a private school, but don't naturally equate non-English speaking with "increasing the poverty rate"

  • likemenow Aug 7, 2007

    RE:"That would effect the quality of the education of the students because so many resources are needed to deal with non-English speaking students....etc"....100 % correct..thanks

  • jgirl5830 Aug 7, 2007

    Pyle, why is it racist to say that busing in students affects the other students? I happend to agree with why why why. My daughter iwho is a very good student needed a little extra help in Math this past school year and when I approached the teacher about it she tried to convince me that my daughter was fine and didn't need the extra help, when I finally got her to admit my child was having some difficulty she told me she had to wait 3 months before she could get her a tutor, reason being because they were too busy with the bused in kids in my daughters class, one spoke zero english, another very little, and a few others were just so behind the other kids in every subject. Even though my child is smart it doesn't mean she doesn't deserve to get some attention also and thats exactly what happend because there aren't enough rescources to deal with this problem and the teachers have no choice in who the rescources go to.