More forward thinking out of Wake County

The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.newsobserver.com/images/masthead/inside/logo.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Just stumbled onto this, courtesy of the WakeEd blog at the Raleigh News & Observer…Wake County is moving closing to a true public-private partnership to build a school.

Folks, this is something we need to watch very carefully, because I support more public-private partnerships such as this.

See the following:

Moving toward public-private partnerships

Wake is moving closer toward using a public-private partnership to build a school.

School administrators said at yesterday’s school board facilities committee meeting that they’ve narrowed it down to three groups that they’re considering for a public-private partnership. If things proceed to fruition, one of those groups will be hired to build a school and then lease it back to the school district.

Six groups had submitted proposals, but administrators say their shortlist consists of teams led by Balfour Beatty Capital, First Choice Public-Private Partners, LLC and Place Enterprise, LLC. Administrators will ask the school board to officially approve this shortlist on Tuesday.

The school district wants to test the concept at one school first. In this case, the pilot project is a new elementary school slated to open in Wake Forest in 2010.

The three companies will be asked to provide more detailed plans, including cost estimates for building the school and the lease payments. In theory, private developers can build schools cheaper and quicker than school districts.

Here’s where the deal could still fall through.

Administrators say they’ll recommend to the school board on April 22 whether or not to continue with the pilot project. Factors that will be considered include whether the proposals will actually save money.

Some school board members, such as Beverley Clark, are skeptical of using this approach to build new schools. Other board members, such as Ron Margiotta, feel the conditions being put on the teams are too strict and will negate meaningful savings.

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E.C. 🙂

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Forward thinking versus “stuck in the 90s”

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:Qdit4XvkoJc2SM:http://www.timewarnercable.com/MediaLibrary/1/1/Content%2520Management/About%2520Us/images/RALEIGH_news14_logo.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. It’s case study time.

Courtesy of our friends at North Carolina’s premier news network, News 14 Carolina, we have two separate stories that deal with land acquisition…in preparation for future growth.

1. Wake County Public Schools…and credit this to the Wake County village of Cary, where  village council leaders voted last week to set aside $23 million for future land use, more than likely to be used for school construction. Town leaders estimate they will need as many as six new schools within the next 15-20 years, according to the News 14 report. Click here to read the story and watch the video.

2. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools…our progressive friends just a few miles to the west of us are already putting their 2006 bond money to use…by acquiring land for future school construction. The system plans to build about $250 million worth of school buildings over the next few years and school leaders have already begun the process of bidding out proposed projects. Click here to read this story and watch the video.

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:ufwmkQUnWjjBcM:http://www.gcsnc.com/schools/images/LeoPic1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Required reading/viewing for Leo & Joe.

E.C. 🙂

Tonight’s BOE Meeting–Revised Agenda

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The revised agenda has hit the streets…tonight’s GCS Board meeting will be lengthy.

Of interest:

1. The “Super.” Search. This is an item, according to the agenda, that is slated for late in the meeting (this should have been the top item). I can’t wait to watch this discussion.

2. The following two items, in my opinion, are related, and should be combined. Click on the details for item “C” (this item is intriguing and I look forward to hearing and learning more):

C. Minority Male Initiative Report
At the meeting of January 31, 2008, Dr. Eric Becoats, chief of staff, will present to the board a report on the minority male initiative. If you have questions regarding this item, please contact Dr. Becoats at 378-8838, prior to the meeting.

D. Middle School Character Education Program Update
At the meeting of January 31, 2008, Dr. John Morris, chief student services officer, will present to the board an update on the middle school character education program. The presentation will focus on implementation of the goals, curriculum integration and collaboration with the Diversity Office and National Conference of Community and Justice (NCCJ). Highlighting school efforts and the next steps of implementation will also be discussed. If you have questions regarding this item, please contact Dr. Morris at 370-8380, prior to the meeting.

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B. After-School Shared Use Libraries
At the meeting of January 31, 2008, Dr. Eric Becoats, chief of staff, will lead the board in a continued discussion regarding the after-school shared use libraries. If you have questions regarding this item, please contact Dr. Becoats at 378-8838, prior to the meeting.

Note…today’s N&R has a pretty good article on this. I’m for shared facilities. These are public buildings. These are the people’s buildings. If we can continue to identify shared uses for these buildings while they are sitting idle, it can only be a good thing.

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If any of you Board members are reading this today, it would also be nice for you to make some sort of announcement during your closing comments as to who’s running and who’s not (reference my comments from yesterday).

It’s going to be a late night! You bring the soda, I’ll bring the popcorn.

E.C. 🙂

Grier on Grier…on FOX-8

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:cQclZ6vnRz65uM:http://images.myfoxny.com/logos/myfox_full_logo_1009.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. FOX-8’s Neill McNeill did a candid one-on-one interview with Terry Grier on the 10:00 news last night. And ole’ Terry did not hold back, especially when questioned about the ongoing “feud” between the school board and the county commissioners.

Click here, sit back…and enjoy.

After you’re done, click here for the “stuff they didn’t show on TV.”

E.C. 🙂