School board candidates question Forest Ridge High road costs

Staff writerAugust 12, 2009 

The Forest Ridge High School road improvements have become a campaign issue in the District 1 school board race.

Both Debbie Vair and Chris Malone , the two opposition candidates in District 1, are harshly critical of the fact that school staff are estimating it will cost $7.4 million to pay for road improvements around Forest Ridge High. As noted in today's article , the school board may need county commissioners to provide $5.7 million.

No response yet from Rita Rakestraw on the situation. She's the District 1 candidate most supportive of the current school board.

Forest Ridge High, located off Forestville Road near U.S. 401 in northeast Raleigh, is located in District 1.

It's not surprising that Vair is jumping on the latest Forest Ridge High issue. She's one of the neighborhood leaders who've argued the school shouldn't be built because slaves may be buried on the property.

Here's what Vair has on her web site:

"Say NO to Forest Ridge High School! Now they estimate the road improvements could cost taxpayers ANOTHER 7.4 million dollars. Where do they think this money is going to come from? We also stand to lose a great part of North Carolina History! To find out more please visit my website"

In an e-mail message sent to the media, Vair said she's mobilizing a group of people to show up at Monday's commissioners meeting to speak out against the project.

Malone is also taking shots at the growing price tag and the location of Forest Ridge High.

Malone calls it "unfathomable" that Wake didn't find a site closer to Rolesville. He also says it's "poor planning" that they are building Forest Ridge High only two miles away on Forestville Road from Heritage High.

"The traffic and the polution will be a mess and the unneccesary disruption in the lives of people all along Forestville and Ligon Mill Road will be terrible," Malone wrote in an e-mail message. "Ligon Mill Road, for one, is already severely backed up in the am. It will be at least as bad as Forestville. They aren't even considering approaches more friendly to the neighborhoods. Finally that much money is a boondoggle and another example of how this board seems to think money grows on trees."

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