Education

Voters to decide fate of Wake Tech's $200M bond request

Posted October 23, 2012

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— This November, Wake County voters will have a say on a $200-million bond for Wake Technical Community College, the largest bond the school has ever requested.

If passed, it will allow the school to expand its north campus, where 8,000 students are now jammed into four classroom buildings. It would also pay to finish the public safety campus in Garner and provide funding to start work on a new campus in RTP and renovation money for the main campus.

The bond won't require a tax increase in Wake County. It has bipartisan support and no organized opposition. Wake Tech student Kristen Rahl says she hopes voters will say yes.

“I would say they should. I know tons of people who come here, not just my age, but people coming back to college. They need options. They need resources,” she said.

Rahl is in a two-year pre-engineering program and plans to transfer to North Carolina State University next year. It isn't the school's most popular program, but classes are still limited.

“I have friends who have been here for years trying to get out, and they just can't get the classes. They don't have the options,” she said.

Voters will decide fate of Wake Tech's $200M bond request Voters will decide fate of Wake Tech's $200M bond request

The problem is only getting worse, according to school officials, who say enrollment is expected to grow 50 percent by 2017.

It's already the state's biggest community college, and President Steve Scott says the growing county is taking advantage of it.

“One out of every 8 adults aged 18 to 65 was enrolled at Wake Tech last year. (That’s) 66,000 people,” Scott said.

Wake County voters will find the bond measure on the back of their two-page ballot. The last time a bond was approved for Wake Tech was in 2007.

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  • Da Toy Maker Oct 25, 2012

    Did early voting today! I voted "Y"es for this Bond!

  • westernwake1 Oct 25, 2012

    "Believing this will not push up taxes is to believe in the tooth fairy. As to the argument against. Our taxes are too high and our debt in the county is too high..." - whatelseisnew

    Read my post below with links to the financial information. Please read through the information at the links. Very hard to make the argument that the Wake County debt is too high or that the debt servicing component of the county budget is excessive. Wake County has a triple AAA rating and one of the lowest debt servicing ratios for a populated county in the nation. The lowest cost method for building permanent infrastructure such as buildings for Wake Tech is via muni bonds - especially now in a low interest rate environment.

    Must hurt when the tooth fairy comes around and smacks you in the head & tells you "you're wrong".

  • mxteam44 Oct 25, 2012

    With the high price of admissions to large universities, technical and vocational school enrollments are growing faster than they have money to build buildings to put classrooms in. I agree that we need to help them somewhat, but they've got to be spending their money wisely also......like the rest of us.

  • westernwake1 Oct 25, 2012

    "Wrong. Taxes paid for everything..." - whatelseisnew

    Simply pulling up the Wake Tech budget will demonstrate the repayment of bonds has been a mix of government spending, the Wake Foundations, facility apportioning for student costs, etc. Taxes did not pay for everything.

    Only 3.54% of the county budget goes towards supporting Wake Tech - http://www.wakegov.com/tax/Documents/ExpenditureCharts2012.pdf

    For 2013 the debt service expenditures will be $235.4M with 77% of this amount going to the Wake County Public K-12 School System. Debt Servicing and Capitial accounts for 22.7% of overall FY2013 Wake County spending.

    http://www.wakegov.com/budget/current/Documents/Wake%20Budget%20At%20Glance.pdf

    Wake County's credit rating is AAA (or equivalent) from all the rating services. Wake has one of the lowest debt to expenditure ratios of all the large population counties in the U.S. It is very hard to make an argument that Wake County is serving too much debt.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 25, 2012

    "There is a clear lack of classroom space (and none extra available at Wake public schools during evenings/ weekends) and a waiting list of people to enroll in courses. What stronger or clearer argument is required to make it obvious that this bond to support Wake Tech should go forward."

    Believing this will not push up taxes is to believe in the tooth fairy. As to the argument against. Our taxes are too high and our debt in the county is too high. We should be paying down debt, not adding to it. Don't forget, our CRAZED school board is going to be coming after a huge amount of money. All of these systems, need to look at other options than simply continuing to build operate and maintain more and more buildings. Many many many classes can be conducted without people having to travel to a location and be physically in the same place as the instructor.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 25, 2012

    "Were either of your college degrees from a public university? Was your HS diploma from a public or private school. If any of these degrees came from a public institution then you can bet that the building you were sitting in was paid via a muni bond issue."

    Wrong. Taxes paid for everything. All a bond does is amortize a Government entity spending further earnings of the taxpayer. this county is already servicing too much debt. The school should simply take the projected cost and spread that across the tuition of the people attending the school. My property taxes are already far too high. Aside from that, if the COUNTY insists on handing over money, then they should assign an additional amount to the mil specifically for this purpose. Once the building is complete then we might have a shot of that going away. Buried in debt, it will never disappear.

  • 27615 Oct 25, 2012

    Vote NO!

  • Whatintheworld Oct 25, 2012

    Good for you scubagirl. I am glad you responded to the statement. I paid for my 2 college degrees as well. But what does that have to do with this bond issue?

  • westernwake1 Oct 25, 2012

    "Fine, have at it! I stand by what I said. And, not that it's your business, but no kids in public or private school, I paid my own way thru 2 college degrees AND my hs diploma..." - Scubagirl

    Were either of your college degrees from a public university? Was your HS diploma from a public or private school. If any of these degrees came from a public institution then you can bet that the building you were sitting in was paid via a muni bond issue.

  • westernwake1 Oct 25, 2012

    "Can we look for redundancies first before deciding on a bond that, despite what some have said, will result in property tax increases? How about courses where there are so few students enrolled that it no longer makes sense to offer the course." - tayled

    Have any of the previous Wake Tech bond issues caused a tax increase? No. What makes you beleive that this Wake Tech bond issue will result in a tax increase - especially when everyone from both political parties agrees that this bond issue will not cause a tax increase and support it.

    There is a clear lack of classroom space (and none extra available at Wake public schools during evenings/ weekends) and a waiting list of people to enroll in courses. What stronger or clearer argument is required to make it obvious that this bond to support Wake Tech should go forward.

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