New school still an option

Jan. 08, 2013 @ 02:33 PM

School district officials will take another look tonight at the need for a new high school many High Pointers do not want.
The Guilford County Board of Education has debated for months whether to spend  $72 million to build a new high school near Piedmont Triad International Airport or to use the money for an estimated $75 million in needed renovations at 80 existing schools across the county. Meanwhile, representatives of Citizens for Central are expected to tell the school board that part of the money should go to Central High School for major renovations.
The school board will review a new staff report recommending buying land for the new school along with a “realignment” of the target service areas based on enrollment trends for the next 10 years.
Last summer, Kernersville officials denied the zoning the school board needed for a 115-acre school site in a business park. The proposed school site, large enough for a middle school and a high school, was valued at $10 million.
Of the high school districts from which the new school would draw students, Southwest Guilford in High Point and Northwest Guilford in Greensboro have grown the fastest over the last 10 years, but enrollments are expected to stabilize in the next 10 years while Central High enrollment is expected to grow to 1,640 students.
At local high schools, the district spent $31 million for  an expansion and renovation at Southwest Guilford in High Point and Ragsdale High got a $32 million expansion and renovation. A $5 million gymnasium upgrade is still unfinished at Central High.
“Nothing has yet been allocated for what we think is a flagship school,” said parent and businessman Anthony Sedberry, part of Citizens for Central.


Central High School: Parents and students have complained of a crowded cafeteria and media center, neither of which is large enough for the 1,424 enrolled students. As many as half of the students either go off campus for lunch or bring it to school, according to the Citizens for Central group.

Others: Parents with students at Smith and Western High schools in Greensboro also want major renovations to athletic and other facilities.