Wake Ed

Wake County drops two schools from building program

The Wake County Board of Commissioners voted Monday to drop the renovation of Vandora Springs Elementary School in Garner and the construction of a new elementary school in Holly Springs from the current construction program.

Both projects will be moved to a future building program by the Wake County school system to deal with $50 million in rising construction costs from the current program. School leaders say that if the public approves a potential 2016 school construction bond referendum that they can still get Vandora Springs and the new elementary school open in August 2018.

But the removal of guaranteed funding – which came from the $810 million school construction bond approved by voters in 2013 – isn’t sitting well with some people.

For instance, Garner town officials aren’t happy that Vandora Springs’ renovations may go unfunded if the next bond fails.

“I don’t like that at all,” Garner Town Council Member Kathy Behringer said in a May article. “I know they don’t have the funds they need and that’s understandable. But to say they are going to put it in a bond referendum and not do it. It’s not acceptable. It makes me mad.”

One of the results of Monday’s vote is that the opening of the new Bryan Road Elementary School in Garner will be delayed a year to 2018. This will allow Vandora students to be relocated to Bryan Road while the Vandora campus is rebuilt.

Wake is also delaying the opening of South Garner High School a year to 2018 to allow Garner High students to spend time there while their campus is renovated.

In addition to the reallocation request, Monday’s meeting agenda includes commissioners discussing the potential closure of the public library at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh. Supporters of keeping the library open to the community spoke out at the meeting.