Archive for the ‘Growing Forward’ Category


School board and County Commissioners leadership reach agreement

Joint Release with Wake County Board of Commissioners

Representatives from the Wake County Board of Commissioners (BOC) and the Wake County Board of Education (BOE) subcommittee met on Thursday, February 27, 2014, to discuss the inter-local agreement (ILA) between the two governing bodies. The purpose of the ILA is to establish collaboration for the process of site acquisition, design, and construction of school buildings and to promote a cooperative working relationship.

Wake County Board of Education Chair Christine Kushner noted, “Our community expects us to build and renovate school buildings to accommodate our growing population and keep schools up-to-date. Approval of the ILA will help to accomplish that.”

“We have reached a consensus concerning the ILA and it is ready to be passed by both boards,” said Wake Commissioners Chair Phil Matthews. “We are ready to move forward and do what’s best for the community.”

The next steps include the following:

  • The Board of Education is expected to approve the ILA at their next regular meeting, Tuesday, March 4, 2014.
  • The Board of Commissioners is expected to approve the ILA at their regular meeting, Monday, March 17, 2014.
  • Upon approval, the boards will establish a Joint School Facilities Core Team to lead research, evaluation of site acquisition, design, and construction.

The boards agreed to the subcommittee at the last joint meeting on Friday, February 21, 2014. The subcommittee included Matthews and Kushner, Board of Education Vice-Chair Tom Benton, Board of Education members Keith Sutton and Bill Fletcher; Commissioners Vice Chair Tony Gurley, Commissioner Caroline Sullivan, along with Interim County Manager Joe Durham, County Attorney Scott Warren, Superintendent Dr. Jim Merrill, and Wake Board of Education attorney Jonathan Blumberg.

Board of Education votes to buy future school site in southwest Cary

The Board of Education voted on November 5 to purchase a 22.38-acre piece of land in southwest Cary as the site of a future elementary school.

The land is located south of Morrisville Parkway and west of White Oak Church Road.

The approved purchase price was $2,797,500, which would come from dollars made available from the Plan 2006 bond funds.

Planning for newly funded schools, renovations underway

Wake County voters gave their support at the polls on October 8 to an $810 million bond to fund new schools, major renovations, technology upgrades, and repairs and equipment replacements at 79 schools. The bonds would fund the majority of a larger building program totaled at $939.9 million.

With approval of the bond referendum, the timeline for new construction, renovations and upgrades is already underway. The funding for the bond would be available in fall 2014, but the district will be moving forward with the program, utilizing $43.8 million in funds provided by Wake County government to jump-start the program. Continue Reading . . .

County would provide funds for school security in addition to $939.9m proposed building program

On October 8, Wake County voters will be asked to decide whether the county may use bonds to fund $810 million for new schools, renovations, and other projects in the 2013 Proposed Building Program.

In addition to the projects outlined in the proposed building program, which totals $939.9 million, staff members have identified $7.5 million in security upgrades for schools throughout WCPSS.

If voters allow the county to proceed with the bonds and the building program as proposed, Wake County government would pay for the following critical security needs from money the county already has on hand: Continue Reading . . .

Common room: Flexible, shared spaces rule design of Rolesville High School

The sweeping, light-filled hallways of the new Rolesville High School are more than channels to corral students to class.

This fall, students will find themselves plunking down at flexible work spaces in the hallways for quick group project meetings, or to have lunch while also getting extra help with math.

The school will be equipped with wireless Internet, ample electrical outlets, and a collection of inviting, malleable gathering spots for students and teachers to foster collaboration, a crucial part of 21st-century learning. Teachers will also have access to more common areas to consult peers, meet with parents, and plan lessons.

“When you go into business and industry, you see people collaborating,” says Dr. Ruth Steidinger, a Senior Director for Academics at WCPSS. “They’re not always sitting in rows of desks—they’re working together to solve problems. If we want to create students who are equipped for college and career, we have to consider the type of learner we want to produce, and then design a space that supports that.”

Continue Reading . . .

Old school: Bringing Wilburn Elementary back to life

Veteran school Principal Darryl Fisher says he still remembers the day he arrived at Wilburn Elementary School.

Industrial pipes and ducts snaked through the school’s hallways. The school had its own water tower and waste filtration system. There was no air conditioning.

“The school was heated with coal, and there was a stockpile of coal in the basement. Every morning, the custodian would go into the basement and get the furnace started,” Fisher says. “It sounds like I’m talking about the 1940s—but it was 1986.”

Today, Wilburn is a brand new place.

After much-needed renovations funded by the 2006 bond, students and staff no longer have to slosh around standing water in halls after heavy rain, and administrators and teachers can spend more time on teaching and learning than dealing with the latest leak or electrical malfunction. Continue Reading . . .

Pressing priorities: How WCPSS manages the needs of 170 schools

When students returned to Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School this fall, they noticed a few refreshing changes at their nearly 20-year-old school—namely a smooth new running track that will give sprinters the standard traction and protection they need while tearing down the straightaway.

The new rubberized track, funded by the 2006 bond, is just one of several upgrades across the district installed over the summer.

With 153,000 students and 170 schools, WCPSS is a small city. It takes constant maintenance, replacements, and renovations to create more classrooms, keep the sidewalks safe, and keep the school’s air conditioning chugging away on hot days.

“Our assessment team monitors conditions to determine which projects we need to prioritize,” says Brian Conklin, Senior Director of Facilities Design and Construction. “As we grow, we want to make sure that we have enough classroom seats, but we also want those spaces to be safe, comfortable and productive for students and teachers.”

Continue Reading . . .

Coming soon! Information on the 2013 bond referendum and building program

Wake County and WCPSS are gearing up for the first school bond referendum since 2006.

Look for the Growing Forward logo on the WCPSS website and out in the community in the coming weeks for more information related to the building program. Voters will decide on October 8 whether to approve $810 million in bond funding.

Stay informed
Updates will be posted regularly to the WCPSS website, the School-Community News e-newsletter (subscribe here), and here on our blog under the Growing Forward category. (See all stories by clicking on the category on the right side of the page.) Continue Reading . . .

Board of Education adopts resolution requesting $810 million bond referendum from County Commissioners

The Board of Education formally adopted a resolution on June 4 in support of a $939.9 million building program that would be largely funded through an $810 million bond referendum on October 8.

The remainder of the $939.9 million amount would come from existing funds from a recent bond sale by Wake County government and other county revenue. Continue Reading . . .

Board of Education continues to refine proposed building program

The Wake County Board of Education is one step closer to finalizing a proposed building program, which would be largely funded through a bond referendum expected to go before voters in early October 2013. Other revenue would come from a Wake County bond sale this spring along with other available county revenues. Continue Reading . . .