Board Hears Update on Bond Priorities, Project Management
March 2, 2021 – The Guilford County Board of Education is ready to move forward with implementing the $300 million school bond passed by Guilford County voters in November. At its work session on Saturday, board members heard a report from district leaders and consulting firm Cooperative Strategies about next steps in the process.
The comprehensive master plan demonstrates more than $2 billion in school construction needs, so the district will focus on the schools with the greatest need during the first phase of bond construction. Land purchases for all phases are also included. The projects are:
- Hampton-Peeler Elementary, which will be rebuilt at the Peeler site as a county-wide and neighborhood performing arts magnet
- Archer Elementary, which will close as a neighborhood school and will be fully renovated as a Montessori magnet, replacing Erwin Montessori
- Peck Elementary, which will be rebuilt as a regional K-8 expeditionary learning magnet
- Foust Elementary, which will be rebuilt on site
- Brooks Global Studies, which will be rebuilt at the old Craven School site
- A new K-8 school in the southwest area, which will include a STEM center for regional use
- Claxton Elementary, which will be rebuilt on site
- Kiser Middle, which will be rebuilt on the Grimsley/Kiser campus
To ensure student safety and to expedite the construction process, students at Archer, Foust and Claxton elementary schools may need to be relocated to other area buildings during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. In addition, Grimsley baseball and softball games and practices may need to be located elsewhere during Kiser Middle’s construction.
Cooperative Strategies consultants, who helped GCS develop its Facilities Master Plan, also recommend beginning the design phase for Sternberger Elementary and Allen Jay Elementary which would fall under phase two.
“With $300 million to work with for the first phase out of the requested $1.6 billion, the district will have to make some difficult decisions on how to use these resources for maximum impact,” says Superintendent Sharon Contreras. “We’re going to have to endure the short-term inconvenience of relocation to realize the long-term gain of having new and fully renovated schools. We appreciate the community’s patience and support as we take this important step forward for the future of our students and our county.”
At Saturday’s work session, the board reviewed the project schedule approved and shared with county commissioners last March. A final vote on a project ordinance for $300 million is expected at the March 9 meeting.
The board did move forward with the process of selecting a project management firm to oversee the land acquisition, construction and renovation work to be done. The Guilford County Schools Facilities Master Plan includes an amount for construction project management in the cost for each individual project. The board voted to allow staff to pursue contract negotiations with HICAPS/C2.
The board also took action to consider the sale of property located at 116 Pisgah Church Road, which is not currently in use for educational purposes. The district has received an offer to purchase the land for $2.2 million. To sell the property as surplus, the board must first offer it to the board of county commissioners and meet other conditions.