Guilford County now has the green light to move forward with a massive plan to fund school construction.
The North Carolina Local Government Commission approved the county’s application to sell $1.7 billion in school bonds during its meeting this week in Raleigh.
The bond will allow for the implementation of a master facilities plan that includes building three new schools, rebuilding or renovating existing sites, and investing in safety and technology upgrades. A portion of the funding would be directed toward major repairs to roofs, HVAC systems, and plumbing.
Guilford County voters approved the bond referendum in May. Some community members raised concerns over the amount of debt the county would take on and potential impacts on property taxes.
The Local Government Commission previously postponed its vote for ten days because it wanted more information from the county and district.
Board of Commissioners Chairman Skip Alston joined district and community leaders at the meeting with state officials.
“It’s going to be very transformative for our community and our schools and it’s long overdue," says Alston. "We have neglected our schools for over the past 25-30 years. We have not put the money into it like it should have been, and we confess to that. So now is the time to right that wrong.”
Alston says the next step is meeting with contractors and getting other preparations in place. He says it takes around two-and-a-half years to build a new school building.
Guilford County Schools recently broke ground on several projects that are part of a $300 million school bond that voters approved in 2020.
Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news