Local News

Wake Tech building projects on hold

Posted October 14, 2008 5:08 p.m. EDT
Updated October 14, 2008 7:10 p.m. EDT

— Students enrolled in various courses at Wake Technical Community College might not have a place to study next year because economic instability has jeopardized the completion of several building projects.

Wake Tech officials, for example, planned to spend $2.2 million to renovate a mechanical technology building into classrooms for the school's new cosmetology program. Likewise, they planned to complete one instructional building and start designing a second one to accommodate 2,500 students on the school's new North Campus.

Those and other projects will likely be delayed because the financial chaos of recent weeks has frozen credit markets, making it impossible for Wake County to sell bonds. County officials last month shelved plans for a $450 million bond sale that would have paid for new schools and libraries and some of the Wake Tech projects.

"We don't know (the impact) yet. We are still negotiating at this time with the county staff," Wake Tech President Steven Scott said.

The county Board of Commissioners voted Monday to borrow $300 million to try to finish building projects that had already started, but most of that money will go to the public schools. Wake Tech and the county will have to fight for the remainder, Scott said.

Other Wake Tech projects that could be delayed because of tight funding include a $50 million building and parking deck for a nursing program and a $14 million expansion to the Public Safety Training Center.

"This (financial trouble) is kind of a blip, but the other thing is I have to build it. People are ready. People want to go to school," Scott said.