Supporters of IHM school conversion press on despite commissioners’ vote

May. 27, 2014 @ 02:42 PM

Supporters of an effort to convert the former Immaculate Heart of Mary school building to the new home of the Academy at Central aren’t giving up despite an odd setback last week with a tie vote by the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.

At their meeting last Thursday night, only six of the nine commissioners were present when the board brought up a motion to transfer $1.7 million in leftover proceeds from the 2008 school bond to purchase the former IHM school. The building, on Montlieu Avenue near Centennial Street, would be converted to the new home for the Academy at Central, which now is housed at High Point Central High School.
Commission Chairman Bill Bencini and Vice Chairman Hank Henning, both Republicans from High Point, voted for the motion along with Democratic Commissioner Carolyn Coleman of Greensboro. Voting against the measure were Republican Commissioners Jeff Phillips of Greensboro and Alan Branson of Julian and Democratic Commissioner Ray Trapp of Greensboro.
By rule, a tie vote means that a motion fails to pass.
Bencini told The High Point Enterprise on Tuesday that he expects the outcome to be reversed when the Board of Commissioners hold a work session later this week. The Board of Commissioners will hold the work session at 3 p.m. Thursday in the third floor conference room of the BB&T Building at 201 W. Market St. in downtown Greensboro.
If all nine members of the Board of Commissioners are present, Bencini said, he believes the measure will pass.
“This was not supposed to happen the way it happened,” Bencini said, referring to the vote last week that only involved six commissioners.
County Board of Education member Ed Price of High Point said he’s confident that the money to buy the former IHM building will pass at the commissioners meeting Thursday.
“High Point is very well-represented now on that county commissioners,” said Price, one of the leaders of the campaign to move the Academy at Central to the former IHM building.
The Board of Education recommended spending the money on the former IHM building earlier this year. Advocates say moving the Academy at Central to the former IHM building not only will boost the school, but relieve overcrowded conditions at High Point Central.

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