Guilford County Schools In Disrepair About To Get Some Relief

Guilford County Schools In Disrepair About To Get Some Relief

8:05pm Mar 22, 2015
High Point Central was built in the 1920's. The Guilford County Commission has approved an initial bond sale of $60 million this summer. Some of the money will be used to fix the school's roof, add a new cafeteria and increase classroom space.
Hardy Floyd/High Point Central

Some public schools in Guilford County will soon get money to pay for much needed maintenance and repairs. The county commission has approved a plan to make capital improvements at nine schools.

It will issue $132 million in bonds over the next few years to address capital needs in the school system. Julius Monk, executive director of facilities for Guilford County Schools, says the projects will happen in stages.

“The County committed to fund all of the schools on the list. It’s just which ones are going to be funded first, so the first six of the priority projects will start this summer. The remaining would start the next summer,” says Monk.

Some of the priority projects that will start this year include renovations and expansions at Northwood Elementary and High Point Central High School, one of the largest growing schools in the district.

Monk says a little over $12 million will go towards repairing Central’s roof and auditorium, building a new cafeteria, kitchen and library. But the upgrades will also help address a growing problem in the school system: overcrowding in the classroom.

Michael Jay Thompson, a senior at High Point Central, says his English class has way too many students and not enough desks or chairs to accommodate them.   

“It is very frustrating. I can’t focus in class or the reason that I come to school and that is to learn because it is distracting me from actually learning,” says Thompson.

Monk says the improvements are a welcome relief. But administrators county-wide are bracing for cut backs. Guilford County Schools Superintendent Maurice "Mo" Green will present his 2015/2016 budget to the Board of Education at their next meeting on Tuesday.

If county and state funding isn’t what they need to serve students, then teaching positions will likely be cut at several schools.  

Follow Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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