Central parents continue push for repairs
High Point Central High School needs a $40 million renovation to serve a growing student body in a crowded school, several High Pointers told the Board of Education on Tuesday.
For weeks, parents have sounded off for improvements they feel have been neglected for years. They want the school board to take $40 million from a $72 million new high school near Piedmont Triad International Airport the board later killed for the renovations.
“We do not want an airport area high school. The bond money should be used for existing schools, including $40 million for Central,” said High Point businessman and Central parent Anthony Sedberry. “We could see 1,600 students in the next nine years.”
Sedberry called on the school board to “do the right thing” for Central. So far, the Citizens for Central group has not considered whether students could be moved to nearby Andrews High School, which has more than 300 seats available.
“We want improvements for our school we think are needed,” Sedberry said before the meeting. “I don’t think people want to go through shifting students between schools.”
“We have a surplus of seats at the middle schools,” board member Deena Hayes said during later discussions. “We have to discuss the surplus of seats as well and where they are.”
The parents also complained of a crowded cafeteria. The cafeteria, which seats 150, is not large enough for all students to eat there during lunch periods. About half of the students either go off campus for lunch or bring a meal to school.
“Too many students are getting hurt on their trips off campus for lunch,” one student told the board.
The group has suggested relocating the Academy at Central. Those 145 students take one lunch period and 12 classrooms in the Tomlinson Building.
The academy also is cramped for space, according to the discussion.
Parent Tom Jarrell, a district court judge and 1981 Central graduate, said the board should enlarge the media center.
“It can not hold a full class of students,” Jarrell said. “We are not on the list for renovations and this is a flagship school. We want to be on the list for use of bond funds.”
Although voters approved construction bonds in 2008 for the new school, the school board started talking about changing plans after Kernersville officials denied last June the zoning needed to build a school on 115 acres in an industrial park on the Forsyth County border.
“We do not need the new high school,” said student John Ellis, who also called for moving the magnet occupations academy to another location.
“There is no room for the academy,” he said “It should be moved.”
Several students also have complained of needed repairs for bathrooms and athletic facilities. The parents thanked school officials for repairs at the school.
The new school was proposed to relieve overcrowding at several area schools, including Northwest, Southwest and Western Guilford High schools.
“But our school is the only one predicted to grow,” Sedberry said.
Central High enrollment continues to grow with projections showing it could grow from 1,424 students to 1,641 by 2022.
Allen Jay: The board voted 10-1 to move along for public comment one proposed name, Allen Jay Middle School Preparatory Academy, for the proposed “advantage” middle school on the Allen Jay Middle School campus in High Point.
Airport Area School: The board voted 8-3 to drop the school from the projects list and not buy land for it from the project budget.
The Board of Commissioners also would have to approve spending the money for different projects.
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Central High School needs more classroom space and a larger cafeteria and media center, according to Citizens for Central.