08/28/06 — Facilities meetings start tonight

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Facilities meetings start tonight

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on August 28, 2006 1:52 PM

Wayne County residents will get an opportunity tonight to tell the county commissioners and school board members how they feel about the county schools' plans for new facilities.

The first of a series of public meetings on school facilities will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Charles B. Aycock High School. Parents of students who attend schools in the northern part of the county -- Aycock, Fremont STARS, Northeast Elementary, Northwest Elementary, Norwayne Middle schools and Belfast Academy -- are urged to attend.

Members of both the school board and board of commissioners, along with county and school officials, will attend the meetings. They will discuss facility needs and proposals, then parents and other residents will have five minutes apiece to express their opinion.

Sprunt Hill, assistant superintendent for auxiliary services for the schools, said participants are invited to give their suggestions and added that everyone's comments will be taken into consideration as the two boards decide how to proceed. No personal attacks on any school board member or commissioner will not be permitted, he added.

School officials are studying a long-long plan to improve the 31 public school campuses. A consulting firm, Evergreen Solutions, was hired by the commissioners to make recommendations about how to plan. School officials have said the county needs $90 million in improvements.

Over the next six weeks, both boards will be receiving input from residents around the county.

Commissioner John Bell said he is hopeful that discussion tonight and those in the coming weeks will help guide county leaders in planning for the future needs of the county's children.

The sale of public obligation bonds is the most likely way to raise the money needed for school construction. Officials say the public must be sold on the specifics of any building plan if the bond sale is to be approved by voters, as is required by state law.

The series of Monday night meetings will continue with another at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 11 at Spring Creek High School. Parents of Spring Creek Elementary students are also encouraged to attend that meeting.

On Sept. 18, a meeting will be held at Goldsboro High School for parents and others who live in the Carver Heights, School Street, North Drive Elementary, Dillard Middle, Goldsboro Intermediate, Goldsboro High and Edgewood Community Development School districts.

Residents in the southern portion of Wayne County can voice their opinion on Sept. 25. That forum will include parents that live in the Southern Wayne High, Brogden Middle, Brogden Primary, Carver Elementary, Grantham School, Mount Olive Middle and Southern Academy districts.

Concerned citizens in and around Rosewood will have their opportunity to discuss facilities issues with both boards on Oct. 2. The eastern section of Wayne County, including Eastern Wayne High School, Eastern Wayne Elementary, Eastern Wayne Middle, Greenwood Middle, Meadow Lane Elementary and Tommy's Road Elementary, will have their opportunity on Oct. 9.