Proposed Bond Issue Could Mean Massive School Improvements for Wake County

WAKE COUNTY, N.C.— Wake County residents will vote in November on whether to borrow a total of over $1 billion for a number of community improvements that would include ample school construction and expansion projects.

The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., reports that of the $1 billion, about $548 million would go towards a school construction bond that would fund two years of a proposed seven-year building program for the Wake County Public School System.

According to the Observer, about $140 million of the school construction bond revenue would fund the construction of seven new schools that include: South Lakes Elementary School in Fuquay-Varina, a middle school in Fuquay-Varina, an elementary school in Apex, two elementary schools in southwest Wake County, a new high school in southwest Wake County and an unidentified elementary school.

The school bond also includes another $283 million for the renovation of 11 other Wake County schools during fiscal years 2020 and 2021.

The Observer reports that complete and partial renovations are planned at the following schools: Wiley Elementary, Stough Elementary, East Wake Middle, Conn Elementary, Fuquay-Varina High, Fuller Elementary, York Elementary, Swift Creek Elementary, West Millbrook Middle, Baucom Elementary and an unidentified middle school.

Such renovations would include the replacement of old equipment like HVACs in aging schools, technology upgrades, and land acquisition, according to WRAL.com.

The Observer also reports that about $89 million of the remainder of the school bond funding would go towards technology, infrastructure, and property management, with the remaining $36 million set aside for contingency and management.

Also included in the $1 billion bond, is $349 million set aside for construction projects at Wake Technical Community College. The Wake Tech bond, as it’s called, would fund about four years worth of construction projects on the college’s various campuses as part of the school’s 2017-23 Capital Improvement Program.

According to Wake Tech’s website, the bond funds will enable Wake Tech to expand to meet the growing demand for higher education and workforce training in Wake County.

The remaining $120 million of the $1 billion bond would go towards a parks bond, according to WRAL.com, that for the next six years would provide funding for the purchase of land for county parks and open spaces, and for the extension of greenways.

A public hearing on the bond proposals is scheduled for Aug. 6.

Reports from The News & Observer, and WRAL.com contributed to this story.