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Incoming board members call for halt to proposed school

Posted November 5, 2009

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— A day after securing a majority on the Wake County Board of Education, a slate of incoming board members have called on the current board to stop work on a planned high school northeast of Raleigh.

Forest Ridge High School has been a sore point for neighbors, who are concerned about traffic and the impact on their community, and Wake County commissioners, who are upset over the rising cost of site development work.

Board member Ron Margiotta and incoming board members Chris Malone, John Tedesco, Deborah Prickett and Debra Goldman sent a letter to the school board Wednesday "requesting a stop to H6," the district's internal code for the planned school.

"We need to go forward in a judicious and thoughtful manner on any policy change," the letter said, "(but we should) suspend any future or currently planned spending on the H6 site, whether direct or indirect."

The Wake County school district a year ago purchased a site near the intersection of Forestville and Louisburg roads for the school, which is being designed for more than 2,200 students. Construction is set to begin next summer.

County commissioners have complained about the cost of clearing rocks from the site and building roads to it. Nearby residents and officials in Rolesville said the school should be built on a site about 3 miles away, saying it has better access to roads and wouldn't disrupt traffic on smaller side streets.

Wake school officials have said that going with another site could delay the opening of the high school by at least a year, which would delay any relief to overcrowding at other high schools.

The incoming board members said the district needs to listen to the public concerns about the planned Forest Ridge High site and halt all work on it to give another look to alternative sites.

"Sometimes, regardless of what one might believe is a good policy or program, when the people speak loudly enough, it is our job, that being the board and the staff, to amend our goals and to listen and act," the letter said.

The four new board members – three were elected in October, and Tedesco won a runoff election on Tuesday – don't take office until next month. Together with Margiotta, they have called for changes to the school district's student assignment policies and have promised to be responsive to parental and community concerns.


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  • Eduardo1 Nov 5, 2009

    How much money has been spent to date on this new school. What penalties ($$$) will be involved by canceling it.

  • Great Dane Guy Nov 5, 2009

    I'll bet that once the realities of managing a large and still growing public school system settle in on the new school board, there will be fewer opportunities for the changes campaigned for. The fact is, there are a limited number of available classroom seats and when one school is at 80% capacity and another is at 115% the parents of the area will be unhappy. I also believe that the site improvement costs and facilities maintenance of building one large school will be less, on a per student basis, than a multitude of tiny schools scattered throughout the county. Even with the new board, there will be trailers, there will be busing, and there will be unhappy citizens. I am not saying the current school board has not made errors, but they have had to make the most of limited resources (including land available for purchase) - that is the reason for the year round schools, the reassignments and all of these other things nobody likes. Supporting the board, but hope they don't mess up.

  • wildcat Nov 5, 2009

    Seems like they want to do the right thing in making the right decisions. Sometime one can be to quick in decision making, and have regrets later. They have their reasons. Wait and see how it all plays out.

  • Adelinthe Nov 5, 2009

    ncwebguy - "The rest of the county (including Garner) will get trailers while their tax dollars are funneled westward."

    There are trailers on some of the school campuses in Apex and Cary.

    And you do realize that some of the students educated in Apex and Cary are inner city kids, while some of the Apex/Cary kids have been attending inner city schools, right.

    So, up til now, what did it matter where a school was physically located???

    God bless.


  • Adelinthe Nov 5, 2009

    "use existing vacant commerical properties"

    That is sometimes done, like when Cary middle school students were bussed to a commercial building in Apex for a while. Don't know if it's still being done.

    But it can't ALWAYS be done, because sometimes those vacant spaces don't have the safety items dealt with the way they would be in a school for children.

    God bless.


  • time4real Nov 5, 2009

    "do you really want all new school construction to be nothing but trailers?"

    that's not a problem for me or my kids!

    "Which one of them personally made you angry?"
    All of them except Ron going back for years!! Several things have added up, but MYR did them in with me! I don't need a lousy school board mandating anything to my family and neither apparently do many, many 1,000's! That's all about to change thank goodness.

    And the "go pack tick" award goes to......................

  • JOBMO Nov 5, 2009

    "I know a lot of people in Wake County who weren't racists until they suffered through having their kids bussed all over Wake County for the failed policy of socio-economic (race) based diversity."

    @TarheelsDontLikeEdwards- I'm not a pro bussing person. In fact I don't have a dog in this fight. But are you really excusing peoples racisn by saying it's the fault of bussing??
    What happend to taking personal responsibility?

  • Garnerwolf1 Nov 5, 2009

    "we need to stop building schools" And since the gang of 5 don't appear to like YR, then for increased student enrollment in the future your solution is...trailers? Forget gyms or cafeterias, etc or are they supposed to be trailers also? Do we put these on the athletic fields (I'm thinking middle and high schools here) or do we not purchase enough land for such frivolities as baseball and football fields? I agree that we don't need taj mahals like the new Green Hope High, but do you really want all new school construction to be nothing but trailers?

  • wildervb Nov 5, 2009

    "I can show you brand new campuses that have trailers. Nothing wrong with them, they serve the purpose just fine. we need to stop building schools. We can either continue slewing out hundreds of millions on capital programs, or put it towards the point of the spear; inside the classrooms."

    whatelseisnew, when I look at the school buildings built 50 to a 100 years ago, most of them are very nice brick buildings that were probably state of the art when they were built. Is our society so poor now that we can't afford to put our students in a decent building? I'm not talking about a palace but a nice building with all the required facilities. I went to real school buildings throughout my childhood, I know that people weren't as well off then as they are now, but still they managed to build enough schools to handle all the students. Maybe they had their priorities set a little better than ours?

  • wildervb Nov 5, 2009

    Right elcid89, the best thing that could happen to the Democrats in 2010 would be for the extreme right to try to force only their candidates on the Republican party. Extreme conservatives will not win any elections in moderate states, like Maine for example.

    In 2012 if Sarah Palin should manage to win the nomination, Obama will win in a landslide.