Two local schools could get $11 million in repairs
High Point-area schools that have been placed on a new $132 million renovations list need work mostly because they are old.
At nearly 90 years old, High Point Central High School, which has crowding issues, tops the new proposed schools renovations list at $23 million for cafeteria and media center expansions. Enrollment is expected to grow from 1,400 students to 1,600 students in the next 10 years, according to the revised 10-year Facilities Master Plan the Guilford County Board of Education reviewed during a weekend retreat.
The revised report focuses on 11 schools that need the most work. Kirkman Park Elementary, built in 1961, would get a $7 million renovation and Northwood Elementary, built in 1956, a $4 million refurbishment. Both schools have had more recent renovations. Kirkman Park was at the top of the list for replacement or renovations in the original 2012 report, but neither school is overcrowded.
Northwood is expected to remain at or slightly over capacity of 655 students in the next 10 years, while Kirkman Park will stay below capacity of 323, according to the report.
“But this is not an exact science,” warned school board Chairman Alan Duncan. “It is helpful, but it is more of an art making these projections.”
Among other High Point area schools, Millis Road Elementary in Jamestown is expected to be at or above capacity of 500 students and Southwest Guilford Middle School is expected to remain at or slightly above capacity with as many as 1,065 students.
As they approach the projects, school officials also must consider redrawing attendance lines to address crowding, Duncan said.
“I know that’s deeply unpopular to bring up,” Duncan said.
The Citizens for Central group, which has lobbied the school board for months for a major renovation, wants an expansion and no student transfers to relieve overcrowding, even though there is space available at nearby T.W. Andrews High School. District officials started work on renovations lists after deciding not to spend $75 million for a new high school near Piedmont Triad International Airport and land for a nearby middle school.
The revised plan calls for a relocation of the Central High media center into a freestanding 15,000 square-foot building with a dining hall across from the school cafeteria. The existing media center would be converted into classroom space.
Central High was listed for a $41 million renovation and expansion to add 230 seats in the 2012 report. The original report listed $1.2 billion in school replacements, renovations and repairs.
The new report puts no priority on the 11 renovation projects and does not say how the school board should pay for the work.
Space: Among schools well below capacity are Welborn Middle School with about 550 students in 10 years, well below capacity of 962. T.W. Andrews High School with a capacity of 1,225 students would have no more than 830 students in the next 10 years.