Local News

Wake budget woes could delay school construction projects

Posted February 17, 2009 5:15 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Wake County school board members say construction and renovation projects might have to be cut temporarily from the system budget in an effort to save money.

At a meeting Tuesday, the board discussed delaying five projects by at least a year, including the construction of Forest Ridge High School, a new high school on Forestville Road in northern Wake County.The board approved its name Tuesday.

Board members say it could be up to two years more before the school opens. It has been scheduled for August 2011, according to the board's agenda, though the district's Web site said 2010.

"We'll have to look at the impact on the students," said Don Haydon, the district's chief facilities and operations officer. "We could delay some of the outfitting things at schools or, perhaps, delay some athletic facilities."

Board member Beverley Clark wants to make sure all available dollars are used.

"Are there any cuts in all of the projects we have available? Have we squeezed them as tight as we possibly can?" Clark said.

Other projects that could be delayed include construction of Rolesville Middle School and Walnut Creek Elementary School in southeast Raleigh.

Renovations at Wake Forest-Rolesville High School and Wilburn Elementary in Raleigh are also options for cutting.

Last week, the school system learned it will get $100 million from the sale of Wake County bonds.

It will also get some money from the national economic stimulus package signed into law Tuesday, although it's still unclear how much.