FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — The Winston Salem/Forsyth County board members voted to pass their recommendations, taking them one step closer to completing the $350 million bond passed in 2016.
During Tuesday night’s meeting, the board chose to go with postponing three projects dealing with Ward Elementary, Griffith Elementary and Smith Farm Elementary, which they said would potentially allow more money to be used to continue with the revised current renovations of Philo-Hill Magnet Academy.
“When you look at how quickly we can get to construction with Philo, that weighed heavily on us…we don’t want to keep waiting. We’ve waited a long time,” said Nick Seeba, director of facilities andconstruction for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
Although both recommendations passed, the board voted unanimously to pass recommendation A of postponing the projects for the three schools, but not everyone wanted to pass recommendation B.
Voters who sat in on the meeting feel as though the bond they voted for six years ago was not the bond they were presented Tuesday night.
“I’ve been waiting for something to happen, and when they were talking about it in the paper about cutting down spending money on East Forsyth High School, I’m like ‘wait a second. It’s what I voted for, and they want to take it and give it to another school. Why?’” said Nathan Myer, a Winston-Salem resident.
The board said due to inflation rising after the COVID pandemic and shortages dealing with construction manpower, the money was depleted faster than intended when the bond was presented in 2016,. Voters knew about the $63 million shortfall since the summer.
The board said the three projects are just postponed, and they will revisit them when a future bond is presented.
Because the renovation will take place at Philo-Hill Magnet Academy in the future, officials said it could impact funds needed for the East Forsyth High School projects.
The board is scheduled to meet in October, review designs for East Forsyth High School and look at costs before they make a final decision.