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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