Local News

Wake Schools: Let's Communicate About New Developments

Posted August 15, 2007 7:26 p.m. EDT

— Every time a developer breaks ground on a new subdivision, Wake County Public Schools officials say - more often than not – they find out from county records or the developers themselves.

And when it comes to school planning, those county records might not tell the whole story.

“Frequently, what we get are portions of the development, and ultimately, the development could be much larger,” said Chuck Dulaney, Wake County’s school system growth coordinator.

The 12 Oaks subdivision in Holly Springs is one example, he said. Dulaney said his office tracked down the developer, who explained current county records only show a snapshot of the 1,500 homes it could become.

Holly Springs officials said they sent the school system information on the initial phases of the development a year ago, and they showed WRAL a letter dating back to 2003 that explains what the subdivision would eventually be.

“One of our responsibilities is to keep the school board informed, and I think we’re doing as much as we can,” said Dick Sears, Holly Springs’ mayor.

Sears, who is also a consultant for the 12 Oaks subdivision, said he wants to make sure there is good communication. In light of staff turnover, Dulaney said he'll check to make sure the information is getting to the right school system people.

“I think our success hinges on that staff to staff communication,” Dulaney said.

With 12 different municipalities to monitor, school planning is constantly evolving. School officials said they would prefer being involved before subdivisions get approval.

Sears said that’s something the town could consider.