Wake Ed

Wake County may build high school on Bobby Murray Chevrolet site

Salesman Mark Batchelor checks out one of the new Chevy Camaros for sale at Bobby Murray Chevrolet on Capital Blvd. in Raleigh. The Wake County school board has agreed to buy the site of the car dealership to build a small high school there.
Salesman Mark Batchelor checks out one of the new Chevy Camaros for sale at Bobby Murray Chevrolet on Capital Blvd. in Raleigh. The Wake County school board has agreed to buy the site of the car dealership to build a small high school there. cseward@newsobserver.com

The Wake County school board agreed Tuesday to buy the former Bobby Murray Chevrolet car dealership on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh to turn the site into a new high school.

The school board agreed to pay $6.4 million to the Murray Investment Company for the 12.13-acre property on 1820 Capital Boulevard near Fenton Street, just south of the Beltline. School leaders plan to put a small high school, whose theme hasn’t been determined yet, on the property.

In March, Raleigh-based Capital Automotive Group of North Carolina acquired Bobby Murray Chevrolet, which has been a fixture in Raleigh for half a century. The dealership’s name has since been changed to Capital Chevrolet.

Betty Parker, Wake’s senior director of real estate services, said Capital Chevrolet plans to move out in two years. This means that the $50,000-a-month lease payment from the dealership would go into the school district’s coffers if the deal is approved.

Final approval of the purchase rests with the Wake County Board of Commissioners.

Wake has been looking for a site for a new small high school in Central Raleigh since last year.

In June 2015, the school board agreed to buy the former Corning Glass Works industrial plant at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and New Hope Church Road in northeast Raleigh. But the school board backed out of the deal in October after further review of the site discovered more soil contamination from chlorinated solvents – which can cause respiratory or other health issues – than previously identified.

Wake traditionally builds high school on 60-acre sites but has been looking for smaller sites to offer specialty school programs. On Tuesday, the school board and Wake Technical Community College both signed a memorandum of agreement to operate a career and technical education high school at a converted supermarket in Wake Forest.

The Wake County Board of Commissioners asked school leaders this week to rethink future high school plans to find smaller sites without traditional amenities such as football fields.

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