Wake County Schools

Name recommended for Wake's new Research Triangle Park high school

Posted October 13, 2021 4:40 p.m. EDT
Updated October 15, 2021 5:30 p.m. EDT

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— The Wake County Board of Education will vote next week on calling its newest early college “Wake Early College of Information and Biotechnologies.”

The board’s facilities committee approved the recommendation, first made by Wake County Public School System administration, on Wednesday.

The school is scheduled to open next fall, accepting 75 students in each 9th and 10th grades for its first year of operation. It will eventually expand to 100 students in all four high school grades.

It will be the district’s first school in the Research Triangle Park and the first high school in Morrisville, and committee members debated Wednesday how to recognize those things in a new school name.

The Research Triangle Park Foundation has requested a reference to the park in a school name, as recognition for donating land that the district uses for schools, Board Member Chris Heagarty said.

“I do think there needs to be some way to (honor) ... the generosity of the RTP Foundation,” Heagarty said.

District administrations urged the committee against approving a name including “RTP” or “Research Triangle Park” because of the existence of two Durham charter schools with “Research Triangle” the names. One of them is also a high school.

Board Member Roxie Cash also noted that most of Research Triangle Park is in Durham County.

Heagarty said he’d also heard from many Morrisville residents who have wanted the town’s name included in a school. Several towns in the county are already referenced in school names, but not Morrisville.

The committee’s name recommendation allows for unofficial, location-specific references for the two buildings that will house classes. One campus will be at the Wake Technical Community College’s Research Triangle Park campus, and the future Parkside Middle School, abutting the town of Morrisville, will also be the site of some classes.

For district marketing purposes, the two buildings can be called “Wake Early College of Information and Biotechnologies Campus at Morrisville” and “Wake Early College of Information and Biotechnologies Campus at Parkside.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the first-year capacity of the school.

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