Panel: Find new site for Rolesville high school

Posted February 9, 2010 2:31 p.m. EST
Updated February 17, 2010 3:30 p.m. EST

— A Wake County Board of Education committee on Tuesday recommended abandoning the proposed site for a new high school northeast of Raleigh and look at two alternative sites in Rolesville.

The full school board is expected to make a decision on the matter next Tuesday.

As one of their first actions on Dec. 1, new school board members voted to halt work on the planned Forest Ridge High School, at 2628 Forestville Road. They said they wanted to take a second look at other potential sites for the school before proceeding further at the site near the intersection of Forestville Road and U.S. Highway 401.

The site has caused a stir among nearby residents, who have expressed concern about traffic and the impact on their community. County commissioners also have complained about cost overruns in planning the school for that location.

District officials looked at nearly 40 sites for the high school, which is projected to cost $74 million. The school was to open and hold more than 2,200 students, making it the largest school in Wake County.

Officials said Tuesday that starting over at a new site could add $15.5 million to construction costs and would push back the opening date by two years. The delayed opening would aggravate overcrowding at Knightdale High School and elementary schools in northeast Wake County, they said.

The school board committee wants to look at two sites recommended by Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles for the high school. One is at U.S. 401 and Louisbury Road and the other is near Rolesville and Quarry roads.