Two Guilford County schools could close next year as the district moves forward with its $2 billion facilities master plan.

GCS developed its facilities master plan in 2019, based on an assessment of building conditions. Deputy Superintendent of Business and Operations Julius Monk explained the results of that study at a school board meeting last week.

“What it told us was that about half of our facilities were either in poor or unsatisfactory condition," he said. "And that included the infrastructure for our schools, roofs, HVAC, as well as technology.”

With that information came recommendations, which are part of the master plan. Those include rebuilds, new constructions, full renovations, or major repairs at about 100 schools.

It also calls for 13 schools to eventually be closed and consolidated. Murphey Traditional Academy and Wiley Elementary are part of that group, and could be closed next school year.

Monk said the plan is for students at those schools to be reassigned to what will be a newly renovated Peck Elementary nearby. 

“This will allow us to repurpose Murphey and Wiley as swing spaces so that we can get started on some of the other renovation and addition projects that we have," Monk said. 

The proposed plan involves changes to existing attendance zones and school boundaries. Board Member Alan Sherouse called the plan “wise,” but said these transitions may not be easy.

“I just want to make sure that we also acknowledge the upheaval and the challenge that happens for a lot of folks at the smaller level," Sherouse said. "I know that our leadership is sensitive to that. And certainly I know many of us on the board are as well.”

The district will hold a public hearing on the closures and proposed changes on Dec. 12.

Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.

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