Central campaign continues

Feb. 03, 2013 @ 05:47 PM

Concerned High Pointers won’t let county officials forget that they want Central High School to get a portion of as much as $75 million in leftover bond funds for a major renovation.
During the last month, several members of Citizens for Central have voiced their concerns to county commissioners and the school board.
The group, which has lobbied school officials for months, wants a $40 million renovation. Parents at other schools also have voiced needs that could be paid for with the $75 million. At the top of the Central list are cafeteria and media center renovations to reduce crowding. 
“We want you to consider these needs,” businessman Eric Hill told the Guilford County Board of Commissioners recently. “We think the Board of Education got it right in deciding not the build a new high school.”
During a county retreat, commissioners and county educators seemed to agree that the $75 million the county would have paid for the new high school near Piedmont Triad International Airport and property for a nearby middle school should be used for school renovations. Superintendent Mo Green said his staff could have a revised renovations list ready in about two months.
“We want a seat at the table when funding is discussed,” businessman Stephen Giles told the school board. “We want to be active and involved, and we will be diligent in pleading our case.”
Brian Hall, a Central High parent, asked the school board to consider buying the Immaculate Heart of Mary School on Barbee Avenue near High Point University as a home for the Academy at Central, which uses 12 classrooms in the Tomlinson building. The Catholic school is moving to a new Parish Life and Education Center under construction at the intersection of Johnson Street and Skeet Club Road.
“We think the academy should be moved there or to Andrews High,” Hall said, “for the growth of both facilities. Our goal is not mutually exclusive of the academy. We want them to have a facility to accommodate their growth.”
Central High is improving and needs a renovated campus to complete the plan, Giles said.
“We have improvements in programs and staff and leadership,” Giles said. “We are two-thirds of the way there. The physical plant needs attention. Students deserve a good environment.”

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Needs

Overcrowding: The Citizens for Central group wants an expansion, and no student transfers, to relieve overcrowding, even though there is space available at nearby T.W. Andrews High School.  Central High is expected to have more than 1,600 students in 10 years, up from 1,424 this year.