Wake County (N.C.) school officials say they will need more than $2 billion over the next seven years to provide additional classroom space and maintain existing facilities in a district adding an average of 3,000 students a year.
A little more than two years after voters approved a $810 million bond proposal for the district's capital needs, school and county officials are looking at how to acquire funds to cover the next several years of construction, renovation and maintenance in the rapidly growing district.
WNCN News reports that members of the Wake County school board and the County Commission held a joint meeting Wednesday to discuss how to pay for the additional school facilities that will needed in the next seven years to accommodate more than 20,000 additional students in the district. Enrollment in Wake County schools in fall 2015 was about 157,000 students.
School leaders project that by 2002, they will need 10 additional elementary, 2 additional middle and three additional high schools.
Some commissioners have indicated they would like to find an alternative to holding another large bond referendum.
School district officials project in their seven-year capital improvement plan that they will need $358.9 million a year through 2022 to provide facilities: $157 million for new schools, $83.5 million for major renovations, $65.5 million for additional needs such as technology, furniture and equipment, $30 million for life-cycle replacements, $12.9 million for projects identified through a space needs analysis and prioritization, and $10 million for land acquisition.
The school board and county commissioners are expected to hold additional meetings to reach a consensus on how to move forward on facility funding.
Video from WNCN News: