Tropical Storm Zeta shows cracks in Guilford County school building

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — As Tropical Storm Zeta moved through the Piedmont Triad, it took its toll on houses, roads, and Brooks Global Studies campus. 

The elementary school experienced leaking gutters that seemed to buckle under the weight of the rain, some even falling off the building foundation altogether. There were also spots where the metal panels ripped off the nails by the intense winds. 

“We’re at a point to where we can’t patch anymore,” is how Principal Darcy Kemp described the state of her school campus. 

She’s been the principal to the 350 some-odd students for the past four years. In that time she has seen countless patches and repairs to the 70-year-old building.

“We have ignored the issues for years. I’ve been in this school district since 1999, we have ignored issues for years. It’s just piling up,” she explained of the issues. 

Her campus is one of 51 campuses that are involved in the Guilford County Schools Phase 1 group for school campus repairs and rebuilds.

On the ballot this November, Guilford County Commissioners have approved for a vote by the public for $300 million to be loaned to the school district to start on 13 of those 51 projects. 

Brooks Global Studies is among those 13, and would received $19 million for repair and relocation. 

Kemp said she and her staff are making it work as long as they can, but repairs and patches have reached their own limits. “It’s just like you not taking care of your house. Over time you’re going to have to replace your whole house.” 

Guilford County voters will also decide on a quarter-cent sales tax and use that will help repay the $300 million. That sale tax increase will then be used to raise money to fund additional bond proposals for school improvements in the near future. 

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