Published: Feb 26, 2013 04:20 PM
Modified: Feb 26, 2013 04:17 PM
MORRISVILLE - This is the only town in Wake County that doesnt have its own middle school or high school, and one local elected leader wants that to change.
Morrisville Town Councilman Michael Schlink has approached the Wake County school board and the Board of Commissioners about the possibility of building a secondary school in town.
Having a middle school and high school calling Morrisville home would greatly help in our evolving community identity and increasing our housing values, Schlink said.
Morrisville has nearly 1,200 children ages 10 to 14 within its borders, according to U.S. Census data. Thats enough students to fill up a middle school the average middle school in Wake County has about 1,036 students, according to county figures.
The town also has about 770 residents between the ages of 15 and 19. The average high school in Wake enrolls more than 1,700 students, and most new high schools are being built to serve at least 2,200, said Christina Lighthall, senior director of long-range planning for Wake County schools.
Many Morrisville students attend schools outside of town. School leaders say Morrisville will need three more schools in the next few years an elementary, middle and high school.
ut its unlikely funding for those schools will be included in the next bond issue, Lighthall said, so its unclear when those schools will become a reality.
Wake County needs a total of 26 new schools with a $1 billion price tag to accommodate the 13,500 new students expected by 2016, school administrators said Thursday.
But even if elected leaders put a referendum on the ballot and voters say yes, its impossible to build that many schools in a three-year span, Lighthall said.
The Wake County school board will set to work on whittling down the list of potential new schools over the next few months. The school system already has plans to build a new high school on Green Level Church and Roberts roads if funding is approved. Lighthall said some Morrisville students would attend that school.
The future of a referendum is unclear amid tension between the school board and board of commissioners. County commissioners have requested a change in state law that would give the county authority to own, build and maintain schools.
In Morrisville, Schlink is hoping for a STEM school that would focus on science, technology, engineering and math. A site near McCrimmon Parkway and Town Hall Drive could be suitable for a middle school, he said, along with a couple of sites near Davis Drive and the Breckenridge neighborhood.
Future schools in Morrisville might not be part of the next bond issue, but Councilwoman Margaret Broadwell said its good to get the ball rolling now. After all, it took several years for the town to get its first public school, Morrisville Elementary, which opened in 1991.