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Wake's new high school site causes stir with neighbors

Posted October 8, 2009

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— The proposed site of what will be Wake County's largest high school has caused a stir with some neighbors who say they are concerned about traffic and the impact on their community.

Plans call for Forest Ridge High School to be built at 2628 Forestville Road near Rolesville and hold more than 2,200 students.

Wake's new school site causes stir with neighbors Wake's new school site causes stir with neighbors

Chesterfield Village residents say the current proposal will increase traffic, disturb their quality of life and cause property values to drop.

"This is an established residential neighborhood," according to a report written by the group. "Any school entrance to our community by such a huge, multi school complex will forever change the character of this quiet neighborhood."

The quiet, wooded area is what drew Dan Haberek and his family to the area.

“I invested into a neighborhood for my family, and it’s going to get destroyed when I have constant traffic from an institution,” he said.

Haberek is part of a group called Concerned Citizens of Chesterfield Village who say they're upset that Wake County Public Schools is planning to tear down trees in their neighborhood and build a driveway to the new Forest Ridge High School.

“And they will have 1,500 trips a day coming through our development,” he said.

The development is 25 years old and has no curbs, sidewalks, gutters, shoulders or streetlights. Residents say the narrow roads can’t handle the school’s traffic.

“This is not a main artery. This is a side street,” Haberek said.

Wake schools' Chief of Operations Don Haydon said the current site fits all criteria and was approved for purchase last October. The school system looked at more than 30 sites before settling on the current one, he said.

Along with other criteria, sites need to be 65 to 70 acres to be suitable for a new high school. Finding that kind of land can be tough, Haydon said.

"Our staff is working with county staff and DOT staff to look at all options for access to the school. We want to avoid any negative impact on the neighborhood and our neighbors," he said.

Chesterfield Village residents said they have proposed alternate traffic routes and an alternate site, which is 3 miles away. Their proposed property was supposed to be for a private school, but it fell through. The land is now for sale.

Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles said Wake schools should build its new high school there since it has direct access to main roads.

“The other site (will need) $1.4 million in road improvements. This would not even require that,” Eagles said.

Haydon said his staff is looking into the site and others and that they're also studying other traffic routes. Chesterfield Village group members said they've been talking with school officials for months and have seen no progress.

“We were looking for better solutions. Instead, they’re pushing forward,” Haberek said.

Wake school officials said going with another site could delay the opening of the high school by at least a year. That would delay any overcrowding relief at other high schools. Construction on Forest Ridge High could begin next summer.

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  • manofjustice Oct 8, 2009

    Yep! Raleigh aspires to be like Charlotte but it ain't going to happen as long as Wake-based politicians, school board, county commissioners, etc. duel for power and prestige.

    The state capital should have been moved to Charlotte years ago.
    gsmith275492

    Raleigh needs to get a visionary mayor and get rid of Meeker. I would rather the state capitol be in Oxford or Henderson rather than Raleigh.

  • Mean Old Mom Oct 8, 2009

    First concern should be for safety of students and residents alike. The roads in Wake Forest Rolesville cannot accomodate the current traffic flow. If you don't live in this area, I challenge you to look at the corner of Rodgers Road and Forestville some morning during rush hour. Kids j-walk on this road during rush hour. There are no crosswalks, or sidewalks. It is very narrow and has no shoulders whatsoever for kids to walk on. It is only a matter of time before someone is killed or serously injured. By the way, the Wake Forest area will have three high schools. WFRHS (currently being renovated), Heritage High (housing WFRHS during renovation) and now will have the Forest Ridge school. The roads and sidewalks should widened first. In addition, I just read where WFR Middle school just got money to put in nature trails and sidewalks behind the school connecting their school with another part of Wake Forest. Really makes you wonder who sets the priorities.

  • LibertarianTechie Oct 8, 2009

    Here goes an idea to save money...stop making your schools look like nice office buildings--keep them basic and too the point. School building do not have to look great for a great education.

  • 5-113 FA Retired Oct 8, 2009

    Yep! Raleigh aspires to be like Charlotte but it ain't going to happen as long as Wake-based politicians, school board, county commissioners, etc. duel for power and prestige.

    The state capital should have been moved to Charlotte years ago.

  • 4today Oct 8, 2009

    You obviously don't worry about where your money goes!

  • manofjustice Oct 8, 2009

    Don't worry about traffic worry about edumacation.

  • bill0 Oct 8, 2009

    OK - the voters just demanded a return to neighborhood schools. Now, we have a bunch of grumpy residents complaining about a school being built near their neighborhood!

  • diver Oct 8, 2009

    GSMITH..."quality of Charlotte". uhhhh ok.

  • 4today Oct 8, 2009

    This school is only 2 miles from Heritage High and Heritage Middle which is already causing road issues along Ligon Mill and Forestville. The proposed road improvements are not adressing the traffic issues on Ligon Mill Road. By the way, the traffic impact analysis that they are basing their improvements on is flawed. This has been brought to the WCPSS and DOT's attention. By the way, WCPSS is required to advise residents if their purchased property is within 100 feet of existing resident's homes. They did not do this for the residents of Chesterfield. I advise everyone to watch the videos in the "public comments" section of the Wake County Commissioners meetings. Educate yourself!

  • Here kitty kitty Oct 8, 2009

    Blame it on Bush. It's his fault!! (Well somebody had to say it eventually!!!! ) (By the way the censor wouldn't let me put Bushdotdotdotit's together. I had to separate them. Is that too funny???)

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