CHAPEL HILL-- Some Orange County taxpayers believe they may be getting shafted.
Last year, voters approved a $120 million dollar bond. $73 million of those funds were set aside for major upgrades to Chapel Hill High School. Problems include mold, aging brick and concrete, and substandard air quality.
“And it's also an open campus which we know is also less safe from an external security perspective,” says James Barrett, board member for Chapel Hill-Carrboro School District.
Funds were also set aside to expand the Lincoln Center to house all pre-kindergarten students, which would free up space at other schools.
But Barrett says the district can't take on both projects right now because of their rising costs. Bids for the Lincoln Center project were millions of dollars higher than anticipated. Barrett says he expects it will be the same case with the Chapel Hill High School project when bids are set to come in next year.
Barrett says the district can't receive additional funding from Orange County commissioners, leaving the district to make a major decision over which project to pursue. Barrett says right now, the Lincoln Center project could take priority.
“That's absolutely necessary to increase elementary capacity.”
But his inclination angers some taxpayers. Many say they voted for the bonds because of the Chapel Hill High School upgrades.
“I feel like I was sold a bill of goods that wasn't accurate when we voted for that bond because the majority of the money was dedicated to repairing the high school,” says Beth Zwaryczuk
Barrett says upgrades will be made. It's not a matter of if, but when. He emphasizes the school board hasn't made a decision yet but member will take up the matter during its meeting on December 7th.
Major Chapel Hill school upgrades may have to wait
By Chris Williams | November 29, 2017 @3:52 PM