Local News

District to chip in for road work near Cary's Panther Creek

Posted February 5, 2009 11:38 a.m. EST
Updated February 5, 2009 3:45 p.m. EST

— The Wake County Board of Education voted 5-4 this week to pay up to $750,000 of the cost of required road improvements around Panther Creek High School in Cary.

Cary's Town Council has asked the school system to pay $1.4 million to widen part of N.C. Highway 55 near the school, where the district wants to use three modular units to help ease overcrowding in the school.

Cary had offered a more flexible time frame to Wake leaders to start the improvements in three years and complete them in four years.

Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said Friday that he is waiting to get the school board's offer in writing before he presents it to the Town Council to consider.

He has stated previously that Cary leaders are not willing to pay for any of the road improvements, partly because of a tight budget and partly because the town has donated $64 million to the school system since 2000 in cash, land and infrastructure improvements.

School board members have said it is not the school system's responsibility to pay for the road improvements and that it does not have the funding to do so. Private-sector parties usually are required to fund road improvements needed to accommodate development that will increase traffic.

Panther Creek is more than 500 students over its 1,663-student capacity. The modular units would provide 22 extra classrooms.

Since the fall, students have been attending classes in the school library and cafeteria and other alternatives to classrooms.