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2 Elementary Schools Move to Permanent Digs

A crowd gathered at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for two elementary schools, marking an end to more than two years of controversy over the schools' temporary site.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A crowd gathered Wednesday at the opening of two elementary schools, marking the end of the schools' two-year stay at a controversial site in Wake Forest.

Forest Pines Drive and North Forest Pines elementary schools moved into their permanent digs at a site on Forest Pines Drive. This is the first time the Wake County Public School System has built two schools on the same property.

"We're very happy to be here," Freda Cole, principal of Forest Pines Drive, said.

For the past two years, the schools' approximately 500 students were housed in a modular structure on the property of the DuBois Center in Wake Forest, about 5 miles away from the permanent schools.

Some parents opposed the temporary site when it was chosen, saying the neighborhood was unsafe and the commute too long.

Although county commissioners voted against funding a three-year lease for the site, the Board of Education shortened the lease to two years and paid for it from the school system's savings. State law requires that counties need to approve leases for school systems only if the lease is for three or more years.

Depsite the initial opposition, the elementary schools managed to operate safely at the temporary sites, Cole said.

"Some of those issues that the parents had dissolved, as we showed ourselves to be prepared and ready for all the challenges," Cole said.

The modular site at the DuBois Center now will be as a ninth-grade center for Wake Forest-Rolesville High School.

Students are already back at the year-round North Forest Pines. Students will return to Forest Pines Drive on Monday.



Ken Smith, Reporter
Anne Johnson, Web Editor

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