Wake County leaders tour schools amid county’s explosive growth


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It is no secret that Wake County continues to grow at a rapid rate – about 67 more people a day.

For the students in the county, that means school space and resources are especially important.

On Friday, Wake County Commissioners and Wake County Board of Education members visited several schools to see first-hand what resources are needed.

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“We’re here to see some of our newer schools, some of our older schools, and to see the challenges that the school board faces that impacts things like student assignments,” said Wake County Commission Chair Jessica Holmes.

Both boards visited Fuller Elementary, East Garner Middle and the new Vandora Springs Elementary School.

At Fuller Elementary, Principal Cheryl Fenner showed the elected leaders how one room used for small group instruction used to be a closet.

She told CBS North Carolina the school is at capacity.

At East Garner, there are 20 modular classrooms.

“We have to build schools,” said Wake County Board of Education Chair Monika Johnson-Hostler. “We need to build schools and, quite frankly, we also need to renovate our schools.”

One option is a school bond referendum, likely about a billion dollars, that should go before voters next year.

“They need us to build schools,” said Holmes. “But we also have to be cognizant of tax increases and the tax that all of our citizens can bear. So, we have to balance both of those interests and I think the key is unity.”

The parents CBS North Carolina spoke with at Fuller Elementary were pleased to see elected leaders paying close attention to their school.

“It will give them an eye-opener of what’s going on,” said David Moore, whose son attends the school.

The bond referendum would go before Wake County voters in May or November.

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