Board says stopping school too expensive

November 5, 2009 5:58:42 PM PST
Despite a letter from incoming school board members this week saying they wanted to put the brakes on the new Forest Ridge High School in Wake County, the current board is holding firm.Traffic trouble on Forestville Road, difficulty blasting rock, and protection of a cemetery on the grounds, are all reasons newly elected Wake board members asked the current board to stop spending on the project until they can take up the issue when they take office early next year.

"We're not saying this is not going to be the site. We just asked for them, let's put it on pause for a minute," explained member-elect John Tedesco.

But current members like Board Chairman Kevin Hill are against any delay that would lead to overcrowding at existing schools.

"I just would hate to see a delay," he said. "If a new site is determined to be in the cards, it'll probably mean a two year delay being able to open a new high school in that region."

And then there's the money. The district has invested over $8 million already in the current site. Supporters say that's money wasted if the new high school is built somewhere else.

But critics of the current site prefer another in Rolesville which they say is more accessible, more affordable and mostly already clear. The site already has a ball field and it's also near Hwy 401 right off Louisberry Road.

Both locations are among five a special committee appointed by county commissioners is now reviewing before any more work is done. The new board leadership is hoping they don't select the old site.

"Really, we just felt it wasn't the fiscally responsible thing to do," said Tedesco.

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