Wake Ed

Apex, Wake County going head-to-head over new middle school

The aerial view of where Apex Friendship Middle School will be located. It will be built next to Apex Friendship High School, which opened in fall 2015.
The aerial view of where Apex Friendship Middle School will be located. It will be built next to Apex Friendship High School, which opened in fall 2015. Town of Apex

UPDATE: The Apex Town Council voted Tuesday to drop the requirement that the Wake County school system build two turn lanes to get site-plan approval for the new Apex Friendship Middle School. With the change, the school board has canceled Thursday’s special meeting and the school now appears set to open as scheduled in 2018.

Will the Apex Town Council blink Tuesday or stand firm on its requirements that the Wake County school system add two right-turn lanes near the new Apex Friendship Middle School?

The Apex Town Council has scheduled a special meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday to consider the school system’s request that the right-turn lanes be dropped as conditions to gain site-plan approval for building the school. If the Town Council leaves the lanes in, the school board will hold a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss potentially delaying the opening of Apex Friendship Middle.

School officials say they need the town’s conditions dropped soon to be able to begin work to meet an August 2018 opening date.

The two turn lanes, which would cost $125,000, were added by the town when the site plan was approved in March.

As previously reported by Henry Gargan, Apex says the two turn lanes are required by its planning ordinances to manage the traffic impact of the project. But school officials say the requested improvements would not significantly improve congestion at those intersections.

Both sides have said they don’t want to create a precedent.

Apex doesn’t want to be perceived as favoring the school system above other developers. On the other side, school officials say that a concession on the turn lanes would set an unsustainable precedent.

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