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Developer Hopes to Cash in on Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools

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CHAPEL HILL — Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schoolshave a reputation for excellence. In fact, that reputation is even selling homes.

Many people, like Charlotte Pamplin, are willing to pay top dollar to live inside one of the best school districts in the state.

"It's very, very important even [at] elementary school age," says Pamplin.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district has become such a selling point, a developer has asked for the school district line to be redrawn for a future subdivision in northern Orange County.

The current line cuts through the subdivision, requiring half the children living there to attendOrange County Schools. The other half would go to Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools.

Thomas Heffner, developer of the proposed Creekwood subdivision, wants all the students living in the subdivision to attend one school district. He says Chapel Hill-Carrboro has the best-selling record.

"I think in our case that it makes sense if you look at it on the ground or on a map it certainly makes sense that the line should be moved," says Heffner.

Randy Bridges, Orange County's school superintendent, knows there is a tough decision ahead.

But Bridges says he doesn't want to set a precedent allowing students to flood out of his district and into the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district.

"And not put our board in the position they are in right now, which in my opinion, is lose-lose. No matter what decision they come up with they're going to come off looking like the bad guy," says Bridges.

Heffner plans to formalize his request to move the district lines in a few weeks.


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