Local News

Wake County Commissioners Vote on School Land Purchases

Posted August 7, 2007 2:05 a.m. EDT

— Wake County commissioners voted to buy land for an elementary school in Cary and postponed a decision on a controversial purchase in Garner.

At a meeting Monday, commissioners voted 5-1 to approve the purchase of two tracts, totaling nearly 20 acres, off Alston Avenue in northwestern Cary, for more than $2.6 million.

Costs for infrastructure improvements will run around $220,000, commissioners estimated. Improvements will include building new turning lanes and widening existing ones on Alston Avenue.

With an agressive construction schedule, the elementary school is expected to open in 2009, officials said.

Commissioners voted to table a proposed purchase of nearly 72 acres in Garner for a new high school. The move effectively postponed the decision on that purchase indefinitely.

Commissioner Harold Webb introduced a motion to purchase the land, but the motion was not seconded by another commissioner.

Before dropping the motion, commissioners discussed vocal opposition to the site from the town of Garner.

Commissioners indicated they want the Wake County Board of Education to work with Garner town leaders to come up with a new location.

At earlier meetings, Garner town leaders opposed the site because of potential traffic problems. They also said increased busing from southeast Raleigh would increase poverty rates in Garner schools.

A previously proposed purchase of a 46-acre site in Rolesville did not come up during the meeting.

County commissioners began putting school land purchases through a more intensive process after questions were raised about deals the school board struck earlier this summer.

In June, the Board of Education backed out of a buying 32 acres in Apex after two appraisals set the land value at less than half of the purchase price of more than $8 million.