Local News

Panther Creek overcrowding a topic of school board closed session

Posted January 22, 2009 5:14 p.m. EST
Updated January 22, 2009 10:40 p.m. EST

— Three modular units that were to open this week at Panther Creek High School in Cary remain closed because of an impasse between the town and the Wake County school system.

The matter was expected to be a topic at a Thursday night closed session of the Wake County Board of Education.

At issue is whether the school system or the town should pay $1.4 million for a required expansion of N.C. Highway 55 near the school to handle increased traffic brought about by having more students.

In November, the school system asked the Cary Town Council to waive the road-improvement requirement or to pick up the tab.

School board members say it is not the school system's responsibility to pay for the improvements and that it does not have the funding to do so.

Cary, which has given $63 million to schools since 2000, has a tight budget, also, council members say.

The council, however, voted to give the school system four years to make the improvements.

Panther Creek is more than 500 students over the school's 1,663-student capacity. The modular units would provide 22 extra classrooms to ease crowding.

Since the fall, students have been attending classes in the school library and cafeteria and other alternatives to classrooms.