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Modular Units May End Up In Eastern Wake County Schools

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WAKE COUNTY, N.C. — Dozens of mobile classrooms may be the solution to some of the school overcrowding in Wake County. The modular units could be set up at either Wildwood Elementary, Lynn Road Elementary or East Millbrook Middle. A third modular unit could become a ninth-grade center at Wakefield High. There is not a school-by-school breakdown yet, but the modular units will likely end up in eastern Wake County.

East Wake High School is home to two cafeterias and other facilities and even some clocks that are stuck in time. Its $19 million renovation may have to wait so the school system can pay for immediate overcrowding needs at other schools.

"I know the Board of Education has to look at the broader picture, not just East Wake, and I trust they will do what is best for the students of Wake County," Principal Herman Norman said.

"It's an awfully difficult situation. First of all, we've always had 2,000 extra children in the last two years," school board member Kathryn Quigg said.

Quigg worries that the broader plan would just lead to more trouble for eastern Wake County. If renovation is delayed at East Wake High, construction of a new middle school at the same site may be put off until 2011.

"They are going to have to put trailers on both the middle school campuses, more trailers on the campuses now just to handle the children that are here now," she said. "If that middle school gets delayed until 2011 because it would have to follow the high school renovations, you can imagine the overcrowding that would occur."

Plans for two new elementary schools may also be delayed. Board members are expected to vote on a concept. A breakdown of the plan will be out in more than a week.

The cost of the plan is expected to be $34 million. A cheaper year-round solution was taken off the table last week. Wake schools are also getting word that they will not get a waiver from the state for reducing third-grade class size.


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