GCS requests $1.7 billion school construction bond referendum

GCS requests $1.7 billion school construction bond referendum

3:46pm Oct 20, 2021
The Guilford County Board of Education discusses a proposal that hopes to address funding for repairs, upgrades and new infrastructure in the district during a meeting on October 19, 2021. KERI BROWN/WFDD

Guilford County Schools is hoping the community will help the district with unmet capital needs. 

The school board approved a resolution this week that requests county commissioners place a new school construction bond referendum before voters.

It’s a big ask. The $1.7 billion proposal would provide improvements that would touch every school in the district. Those include technology and security upgrades, even new school buildings in some communities.

In 2020, Guilford County voters approved a $300 million bond referendum. The district says it was a great start, but it’s only a dent in a much larger problem.

Ged O’Donnell is the Principal of Grimsley High School where some buildings on campus are more than 100 years old.

“These upgrades are long, long overdue," says O'Donnell. "Some of the examples that Grimsley faces each and every single day: We have crumbling walls and crumbling ceilings; we have a broken air conditioning system and broken heating.”

The district hopes that commissioners will approve placing the new school construction bond referendum on the ballot in March 2022. County commissioners are expected to discuss the proposal at an upcoming meeting in November.

The Guilford County Board of Education has also voted to continue its mask mandate for students and staff.

Under a state law passed in August, school boards that require face coverings have to vote at least once a month on their policy.

Guilford County Schools is the state’s third-largest school system and serves more than 70,000 students.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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