Wake Ed

Swing space changes backed for 4 Raleigh elementary schools

New cars on the lot wait for buyers at the Capital Chevrolet car dealership, formerly Bobby Murray Chevrolet, on August 17, 2016. The Wake County Public School System is considering whether to use the site to temporarily house students from Wiley Elementary while their school is renovated.
New cars on the lot wait for buyers at the Capital Chevrolet car dealership, formerly Bobby Murray Chevrolet, on August 17, 2016. The Wake County Public School System is considering whether to use the site to temporarily house students from Wiley Elementary while their school is renovated. cseward@newsobserver.com

The Wake County school board tentatively agreed Tuesday to change the schedule for where and when students and staff at four Raleigh elementary schools will temporarily relocate to while their campuses are renovated.

The board wants to push up by a year the scheduled renovations for Conn and North Ridge elementary schools. The board also wants to push back by a year the scheduled renovations at Stough and York elementary schools to provide Stough families a closer place to go during the construction work.

But the board is holding off on what to do with Wiley Elementary School students because of uncertainty about where they’ll go during the work. The options are using the Garner High School 9th-grade center in Garner for the 2018-19 school year or the former Bobby Murray Chevrolet car dealership site in Raleigh for the 2020-21 school year.

The board will officially vote on the swing space plans for Conn, North Ridge, Stough and York on Nov. 1. School administrators said they’ll also ask for a vote on Wiley on Nov. 1 after coming back with information on the availability of the Garner site.

Under the new plan,:

▪ North Ridge Elementary will relocate to a modular campus on Spring Forest Road in Raleigh for the 2018-19 school year instead of the 2019-20 school year;

▪ Conn Elementary will relocate to Spring Forest Road for the 2019-20 school year instead of the 2020-21 school year;

▪ Stough Elementary will relocate in the 2019-20 school year to a new elementary school, E-24, being built on 12004 Strickland Road in Raleigh. Stough originally would have gone to Spring Forest Road for the 2018-19 school year;

▪ York Elementary will relocate to E24 for the 2020-21 school year instead of the 2019-20 school year. E24 won’t open as its own school now until the 2021-22 school year, a year later than planned.

The changes were spurred after Stough families complained that Spring Forest Road was too far away at nearly 10 miles from their current campus. Stough families will now get a closer site but will have to wait a year longer for the renovations.

School facilities staff presented five new options to the board’s facilities committee last week. The committee recommended the new plans agreed to Tuesday for Conn, North Ridge, Stough and York but left up in the air what to do with Wiley.

One of the issues is that Wake would need to get permission from the other major tenants to convert the Garner site for use as an elementary school. It’s uncertain that approval would come early enough to allow the district to start the design work now and be ready to move Wiley students there in 2018.

The Bobby Murray Chevrolet site at 1820 Capital Blvd. is closer than the Garner site for Wiley families. But it wouldn’t be ready for use until 2020 because it needs to be converted for use as a school.

Wake plans to open a new small high school at the dealership site in 2020. But that would be delayed a year if Wiley moves there first.

It could cost Wake $1.9 million more than currently planned to send the Wiley students to the Raleigh site. Sticking with the plan to use the Garner site, along with the changes made at the other four schools, could save Wake $200.000.

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