It’s official: No airport-area high school

We knew this already, but now it’s official. At its Tuesday night meeting the Guilford County Board of Education voted not to pursue an airport-area high school after a multitude of problems, foremost of which was acquiring land.

The price tag was included in the $450 million bond passed by voters in 2008, leaving GCS to decide what to do with the $70-plus million slated for the new high school:

The vote was preceded by a public comment period where several speakers on behalf of High Point Central High School criticized spending money on a new school when existing schools are badly in need of repairs and renovations.

A lack of classrooms and a lack of adequate space in the High Point Central cafeteria and media center were common complaints made by the speakers.

Anthony Sedberry suggested that $40 million of the $75 million bond funds that would be spent on the airport area high school be earmarked for improvements to High Point Central.

OK, I realize acquiring land was a real problem, considering the fact that Piedmont Triad International Airport and the Town of Kernersville are carefully guarding every acre of available land for airport-related development. But read this from the N&R’s (unposted) report:

The high school was intended to relieve crowding at Northwest, Western and Southwest high schools. But enrollment growth slowed during the recession.

Expanded noise zones around the airport sowed residential growth around the area. and the board struggled to find suitable land….

Just strikes how something that seemed so urgent a mere four yeas ago isn’t quite so urgent now. That’s a cautionary tale when government pitches a project, whether it’s a new high school or a downtown performing arts center.

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...

Reader Comments

  • Stormy

    Perfect example of bait and switch by government. The BOE does not long term planing…nor really any short term planning. There is no one of that board with any real business or financial expertise. Voters and taxpayers should remember this one when the next bond comes forward for approval. Yes, it’s for the children, but it is really not.