GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- The Piedmont Triad's largest school system is prepared to move forward with new construction projects. It just needs approval from Guilford County Commissioners.
Guilford County voters approved $457 million in school construction bonds back in 2008. About $350 million of that has been spent or is under contract, according to the school system.
The majority of those projects are complete. Projects are wrapping up at Ragsdale High, Allen Jay Preparatory Academy and Summerfield Elementary.
"Last year we didn't have all the equipment and the fun because we had to stay quiet since we had a shared building," said sixth grader Hegin Dawes at Allen Jay. "We couldn't get up and have as much fun as we do this year." He said they especially love morning assemblies in the newly-renovated, historic rock gym.
A $6 million athletics and performing arts addition and renovation at Southeast High is scheduled to begin next month and will take about eight months, said Director of Construction Samuel Masters.
The District developed a list of nine priority school projects to use the remaining bond money on. Masters explained, the leftover dollars are a result of other projects that came in under budget plus the county's decision not to move forward with an airport area high school.
"So far, county commissioners have only approved money for design, construction manager at risk pre-construction services and design phase engineering service work on the nine priority projects. The district can't take any further action until additional funds are approved by the county," spokesperson Nora Murray said in a press release.
Masters added, "Commissioners have to look at their budget basically and determine what it is they can afford before they authorize us to go ahead and sell those bonds."
The district plans to meet with county leaders soon to encourage commissioners to approve funding for these projects to continue.
This updated list of the district's nine priority projects was released in November:
Schematic Design Estimate as of 11/14/14
Original Construction Budget
|Dudley High School Traffic||$621,375||$621,375||$0|
|NW High School Traffic||$951,605||$951,605||$0|
|Hunter Elementary - Replacement||$14,790,941||$10,329,551||$4,461,390|
|High Point Central - Addition/Renovation||$8,411,445||$8,292,744||$118,701|
|Smith High School - Athletic Renovation||$5,405,879||$3,839,599||$1,566,280|
|Western High School - Addition/Renovation||$5,978,727||$4,670,210||$1,308,517|
|Bluford Elementary - Renovation||$6,408,437||$5,894,126||$514,311|
|Guilford Middle - Replacement||$26,054,906||$21,327,872||$4,727,034|