Monday, August 2, 2010

Rhino's Paul Clark and GN&R's Brian Ewing and Joe Killian: Does Guilford County's School Board work for parents or real estate special interests?

"Airport High Causes Conflict

...Fresh from the loss of a major battle over its plans to build a $25 million "southeast area elementary school" almost due east of Greensboro, the school system faces another fight over the location of the $71 million high school it plans to build near Piedmont Triad International Airport.

If one odd school location proposal is a coincidence,
can two reflect a pattern?

On Thursday, July 22, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners shot down the school system's plans to build the elementary school...after residents of southeastern Guilford County protested vehemently that an elementary school in the attendance zones for Eastern Guilford Middle School and Eastern Guilford High School didn't fit their definition of a school intended to relieve overcrowding at Alamance Elementary School, which is in the zones for Southeast Middle School and Southeast High School.

The site was barely south of I-40/I-85.

Debate over school property isn’t done

The school board isn’t backing down from the Guilford County commissioners
over 45 acres it wants to buy for a new southeast-area elementary school.

The school board voted 8-2 late Thursday night to go back to commissioners
with a request to spend $907,000 on the Stewart Mill Road property,
about five miles east of Greensboro.

Commissioner Billy Yow...didn’t think much of the school board’s strategy.

“I think they’re just going to infuriate all the commissioners sending it right back to us,” he said.

“It’s just arrogance."
Brian Ewing and Joe Killian

Now, according to High Point officials, the school system is planning to locate the airport area high school, which is expected to draw many of its students from the rapidly growing northern part of Guilford County, on land south of I-40...

...The site is in one of the few undeveloped areas south of the interstate – an area that contains the only large, undeveloped properties in that part of the county, mixed with a few houses and with properties subdivided into lots for houses that haven't been built.

Doesn't the proposed site in Eastern Guilford
have a lot of large, undeveloped properties...subdivided into lots for houses
that haven't been built.?

...High Point City Manager Strib Boynton also said a representative of the owner of the property under consideration called Boynton last week, asking the City of High Point for a letter of intent to provide water and sewer service to the property, presumably to seal a deal with the school system.

What could the High Point site,
and surrounding undeveloped properities be suddenly worth,
if Guilford County unexpectedly built a $71 million High School
origionally planned for somewhere else?

...Boynton argued that the site is a bad one because the airport area high school will draw most of its students from the northwestern part of the county and because there are only two roads that school buses and parents driving from that part of that part of the county can take to cross I-40: Bunker Hill Road and Sandy Ridge Road, both heavily traveled two-lane roads.

"They are going to be sending kids through that mess on school buses?" Boynton said. "None of those roads are designed to handle that traffic flow. I think it's a clear safety issue."

...High Point Mayor Becky Smothers said the school board has settled on one site in that area, and that she doesn't like it.

"I don't think it's a great site, for a number of reasons," Smothers said. "The road access is terrible in terms of what you need for high school traffic. As I understand it, the need for the school is to address overcrowding north of 40, not south of 40. There's the access issue, the land-use issue and the basic location issue."

School board members said it's untrue that the high school will serve only the northern part of the county...

Have some school board members been compromised by some real estate developers?
Are the same school board members
advocating for the misplaced Southeast Elementary School,
the same board members who like the new High Point/Airport High location?

...If the site is south of I-40, that raises the possibility that the school board will face the reverse of the problem that caused such a fuss in southeast Guilford County. Instead of building a school too far north to satisfy many parents, it would be building a school that is too far south.

...Smothers confirmed that the owner of a property under consideration had contacted the city, asking for a guarantee to provide water and sewer service.

"I don't know, and Strib doesn't know either, what 'provide' means," she said. "We're not just going to let them tap into an outfall line. There's infrastructure that has to be part of the development plan."

Who are the mystery developers
and how much have they influenced the political process and the School Board?

Paul C. Clark
Rhino Times, July 30, 2010

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why can't the school board look to some of the vacant industrial and commercial properties throughout the county for new schools instead of buying expensive property and building expensive schools that employ uneducated teachers who attempt to teach uneducated fools who are more than likely to end up in BJ's new jail instead of graduating. No one in the school system including "MO" should make more than $100,000.