Durham News

Durham County to vote on $170M in bond referendums this fall

Durham County residents will be asked to approve $170 million in bond referendums this fall to replace Northern High School and renovate the Main Library downtown, among other projects.

The Durham County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to put four bond referendums on the November ballot.

▪ Schools: $90.9 million for additional buildings; remodeling, enlarging and reconstructing existing buildings and other facilities; and for land, furnishings and equipment.

The school bond referendum is less than the Durham Public Schools Board of Education wanted. It had sought $110 million to replace Northern High and build a new elementary school in south Durham, among other projects. The elementary school has since been dropped.

More than half of the money in the finalized referendum, or $51.9 million, would go toward the new Northern High. The current school was built in the 1950s. Construction could start in spring 2018, with the new building opening and the old building being demolished in fall 2020.

▪ Durham Technical Community College: $20.2 million for expanding and improving facilities.

▪ Durham Public Library: $44.7 million for enlarging and improving library facilities including the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.

▪ Museum of Life and Science: $14.2 million for a parking deck and improvement of exhibits and other visitor facilities.

The county will provide more details on a bond referendum website later this month at dconc.gov and in mailings to all county households.

In other business Monday, the commissioners

▪ approved the annual nonprofit contract with the Urban Ministries of Durham, the county’s primary emergency homeless shelter.

▪ held a public hearing and awarded an ambulance franchise to North State Medical Transport. This group will provide non-emergency and inter-facility transportation to patients and will also assist with special events coverage at the request of the County.

The commissioners’ next regular session will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 22. Board meetings are cablecast live on Durham Television Network (DTN), Time Warner Cable Channel 8, and AT&T U-verse Channel 99.


For more information about the upcoming bond referendum, email the Durham County Public Information Office at publicinformationoffice@dconc.gov.

For information about voting, call the Durham Board of Elections at 919-560-0700.