"We have to look at the needs of the entire district, not just Cary High School," said Dennis.
Wake County eliminated $300 million in funding for Cary's renovations and delayed projects at several other schools, also putting the purchase of new furniture on hold. These cuts were necessary to get the capital improvement proposal to fall below $1 billion. "It's one of those things where you have to weigh out what's best for the system," said Dennis.
The system needs to expand. With 13,000 students expected in coming years, the slimmed-down capital improvement proposal makes room for 16 new schools and land for another dozen.
"We're looking at it line by line," said Wake School Board chair Patti Head.
Budget trimming is necessary, said Head, so taxpayers will be more comfortable passing a bond measure in November. Under the current $994 million plan, property owners with a home worth at least $150,000 would see an increase of about $70 in property taxes.
"(With) 13,000 additional students, we have to take care of them," said Head.
Even if it means other students will have to sacrifice.