New high school site faces issues

WAKE COUNTY An outspoken mayor said he warned county leaders that the new high school site would be a big problem.

"I told you so," Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles said.

Eagles said he told county leaders they were paying too much for the land and felt it was a bad location for the new Forest Ridge High School.

The property off of Forestville Road near Highway 401 is filled with granite rock that needs to be blasted and removed.

On top of that, the school system said it learned just this month that road creation, additions and widening costs jumped from $1 million to over $7 million.

"All who voted for this fiasco should be mad at Wake County Schools for leading you down the yellow brick road paved with gold from taxpayers," Eagles said.

Resident John Felmet told the commissioners during the meeting that he was concerned about the road widening.

"The amount of land it'll take on our side will cut our septic systems in half," he said.

Another resident said he was bothered by the blasting of the rock on the land.

"They're going to be blasting 50 feet from my house," John Hebert said. "What's that going to do to my house?"

Commissioners also heard from a school board candidate who wanted to protect what she called slave graves on the land -though that had not been proven.

"We believe the school needs to be put in a better location," Debbie Vair said.

Chairman of Commissioners Harold Webb said he supports the location, but he questioned the new costs and wanted more details.

"There is a need for a school in that part of Wake County," Webb said.

Commissioner Paul Coble voted against the location four times and felt school leaders lied about the site.

"There is no question we are either looking at incompetence or something else," Coble said.

In a letter to commissioners, Wake County schools' superintendent said they'll try to cover the higher costs by cutting other costs in the project. So they won't have to ask for more money.

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