School board sets priorities

Safety, school upgrades top list
Oct. 01, 2013 @ 05:36 PM

Safety was the top priority for Guilford County Board of Education at its retreat on Saturday.
Guilford County Schools staff presented the board with construction projects that need to be done in the county’s schools. Staff recommended prioritizing those schools to make the most sensible use of the board’s remaining $80 million from unused bonds.
The top priority project is a kitchen expansion at Northwood Elementary to comply with state standards. The kitchen at Northwood is not properly sized for the current student population of 644. The expansion would cost $639,225.
Renovations at High Point Central were fifth on the list of priorities after traffic safety concerns at Dudley High and Northwest Guilford High totaling $1.9 million and replacing one of the district’s oldest schools, Hunter Elementary, for $18.8 million. High Point Central also would receive a cafeteria expansion and a media center addition totaling $12.55 million.
Central’s renovations would include upgrades to the Tomlinson building. The renovations and repurposing of areas in Central’s main building would free up space in the Tomlinson building to use for The Academy at Central. Plans call for building a Career and Technology Education facility on the Trenton Street side of the campus along with new parking, along with media center and cafeteria additions.
The board decided to take renovations of McIver Education Center off the list for now because it currently is not occupied by students. McIver’s students were split between the two new special education centers, Herbin-Metz for students in grades K-8 and Greene for students in grades 9-12.
Also on the priority list are athletic renovations at Smith High, costing about $5.3 million, which would include bleachers and a press box that several parents, players and faculty have mentioned during public comments at board meetings.
Western High also would get renovations to repurpose its auxiliary gym into dining space, repurpose the current gym into the auxiliary gym and build a new gym totaling $6.9 million.
The board’s priority projects total about $46 million, leaving $34 million.
The next priority on staff’s list was replacing Guilford Middle School, which would cost $34.2 million. The board did not put that project on its list until it can close out some of the open construction projects in the district and see how much money is left from those projects.
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