RALEIGH (WTVD) --Wake County Schools needs more than $2 billion to cover all of its school construction needs over the next seven years.
District leaders say money from a 2013 school bond referendum is quickly running out.
A joint meeting will be held Wednesday evening between school board members and the board of commissioners to get an update on WCPSS' seven-year capital improvement plan.
WCPSS staff project they will need $358.9 million a year to cover the projects.
RELATED: TAKE A LOOK AT THE SEVEN-YEAR SCHOOL CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN
They also say they need $1.1 billion for new schools, which include 10 elementary schools, two middle schools and three high schools.
School officials project construction costs to rise to $100 million for a new high school, $63 million for a new middle school and $34 million for a new elementary school.
"School buildings now are different than they used to be. They're not just a group of classrooms with four walls. There are different technology issues that have to be addressed. There are different ways that you construct a classroom," said school board chairman Tom Benton.
School leaders say the funding is critical to accommodate 20,904 students by 2022, but the county's plan would not come close to fully funding the district's request.
Commissioners are reluctant to raise property taxes and are considering skipping another school bond referendum to protect a half-cent sales tax to pay for the transit plan that will be on the ballot in November.
"I don't see any way that the Wake County citizens can afford to continue to fund these excessive amounts that the school system desires and also fund an excessive transit system that some of these people feel we just must have," said Ed Jones, president of the Wake County Taxpayers Association.
A list of recommended new schools and renovations is scheduled to be finalized by March.
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