Let's Make a Deal

Mar. 29, 2013 @ 08:56 PM

The Academy at Central High School may have a new home as soon as next year if a $1.75 million deal announced Thursday by the Guilford County Board of Education gets all the needed approvals.
School district leaders said they have negotiated an option to buy the Immaculate Heart of Mary School on Barbee Avenue near High Point University. The school is scheduled to move to a new home in north High Point by this fall.
Several members of the Citizens for Central suggested that the school board consider buying the property for the academy, which uses 12 classrooms in the nearby Tomlinson building, or moving classes to T.W. Andrews High School to make more room for Central students.
“This will be great for our students in High Point,” said board member Ed Price of High Point.
Depending upon how the deal is structured, county commissioners also may have to approve it.
“I like the idea,” Democratic Commissioner Bruce Davis of High Point said Friday. “They want to move the academy, and that could be a way to do it.”
School district staff has recommended a $27.8 million upgrade for Central, including a standalone building for a dining area and a new media center. If the academy is relocated, a renovation is recommended for the Tomlinson building.
Central parents and students say the Catholic school could be a good site for the academy because it has more room and a library.
“I think that if the school board feels the IHM facility will serve the school system well and is a good value, then the purchase is a win for all parties involved,” said Anthony Sedberry, a Concerned Citizens leader.
The sale price for the Catholic school had been $2 million.
“It is hard to say if this is a fair price,” said Republican Commissioner Bill Bencini of High Point. “It is a good location for what the school board is planning.”
Concerned High Pointers want Central High School to get a portion of as much as $75 million in leftover bond funds from a high school the school board decided not to build near Piedmont Triad International Airport.
The group has lobbied for a renovation costing as much as $40 million. Parents at other schools also have voiced needs the $75 million could pay for.
Earlier Thursday, Sedberry called on the school board to hold a hearing on the proposed Central High renovations and how the leftover bond funds would be used.
“We want to move as quickly as possible with this to the board of commissioners,” he said.

Area Schools
These are the latest estimates for renovations and upgrades at other High Point area schools. School officials have not decided which schools will get upgrades. 

• Millis Road Elementary, Jamestown ... Renovation/Addition ... $16.41 million
• Kirkman Park Elementary, High Point ... Renovation $7.16 million
• Northwood Elementary, High Point... Renovation/Addition ... $3.55 million
• Allen Jay Middle, High Point ... Renovation of Rock Gym... $1.96 million