Wake Ed

Wake County school board to discuss building program scenarios

Every parking space out in front of the Apex High school main entrance is filled at midday January 28, 2016. A Wake County school board committee will discuss May 11, 2016 the design for Apex High’s renovations and could recommend including the school in the next building program.
Every parking space out in front of the Apex High school main entrance is filled at midday January 28, 2016. A Wake County school board committee will discuss May 11, 2016 the design for Apex High’s renovations and could recommend including the school in the next building program. hlynch@newsobserver.com

Wake County school board members will discuss Wednesday the details of the next school construction program and the state of the district’s year-round school program.

The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting of the school board’s facilities committee will include staff presenting different scenarios for the next school building program. Staff wants the committee’s feedback on which option to present to the full board for a vote potentially as soon as Tuesday, May 17.

The scenarios will include how many new schools and renovations to include. Wake is moving to a seven-year rolling construction program but families are particularly interested in the timing of the projects to see if their children might benefit.

Two projects that could make it to the top of the next building program are the renovation of Apex High School and the construction of a new high school in Fuquay-Varina. Staff will seek the committee’s recommendations Wednesday on which schematic designs to use for both projects.

Construction of the new high school would also speed up renovation of Fuquay-Varina High. Once the new high school is done, Fuquay-Varina High students could relocate there temporarily while their campus is rebuilt.

Even after the school board adopts the building program, it’s up to the Wake County Board of Commissioners to decide how much money to provide and on what cycle.

Based on comments at the last joint meeting, commissioners seem to be partial toward waiting until 2018 to hold the next school bond referendum. In this option, commissioners would issue limited obligation bonds to cover the next two years of additional projects.

Another topic on Wednesday’s committee agenda is a staff report analyzing the year-round program. The board is weighing issues such as how many year-round schools are needed and how easy should the district make it for families to get into or out of one of those schools.

In recent years, Wake has cut back on the number of multi-track year-round schools, converting several to single track or to the traditional calendar. Supporters of multi-track schools say the program has been cut too much.

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