Wake Ed

Swing space changes approved for four Raleigh elementary schools

The Wake County school system plans to relocate students and staff from Wiley Elementary School in Raleigh in the 2018-19 school year to this renovated movie theater that has been serving as Garner High School’s Ninth-Grade Center.
The Wake County school system plans to relocate students and staff from Wiley Elementary School in Raleigh in the 2018-19 school year to this renovated movie theater that has been serving as Garner High School’s Ninth-Grade Center. News & Observer file photo

The Wake County school board approved Tuesday a new timetable for where and when students and staff at four Raleigh elementary schools will temporarily relocate to while their campuses are renovated.

The new plan pushes up by a year the scheduled renovations for Conn and North Ridge elementary schools. The board pushed 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.

Left unchanged, at least for now, is the plan to relocate Wiley Elementary students and staff to Garner High School’s 9th Grade Center for the 2018-19 school year. Garner High won’t need the building after its renovation project is completed and South Garner High officially opens.

Wake will need to come up with an alternative if it can’t get timely permission from the Garner shopping center to house elementary school students there.

One option that’s been discussed is to send Wiley students to the former Bobby Murray Chevrolet car dealership at 1820 Capital Blvd. in Raleigh that Wake wants to convert into a new high school. But sending the Wiley students there, potentially in the 2020-21 school year, would delay when the new high school could open.

Under the new plan,:

▪ North Ridge Elementary will relocate to a modular campus on Spring Forest Road next to East Millbrook Middle School 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 E-24 for the 2020-21 school year instead of the 2019-20 school year. E-24 won’t open as its own school now until the 2021-22 school year, a year later than planned.

The changes are projected to result in $200,000 in savings for the school district.

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.

The school board rejected alternatives such as trying to lease a site in west Raleigh to house Stough and York students and moving Conn students to the Bobby Murray site. Board members also nixed temporarily reassigning all Stough students to different schools for a year during the renovation work.

Another option that didn’t get support was to extend by a year how long Conn and Stough students would be relocated off site. That additional year off site would have allowed Wiley and York students to use, respectively, the renovated campuses of Conn and Stough for a year.

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