Pro-Bonds webpage is up

The site is

One problem I have is this section on the FAQs:

Q: Why does Guilford County pay more to build schools than other counties?

A: Guilford County does not pay more to build schools than other counties. An analysis shows that Guilford County pays roughly the same or less to build schools than those built under comparable circumstances in other counties.


This is false.

First, the site doesn’t identify what analysis, and this should be public information. Second, it is widely common knowledge that construction costs are at a premium in Guilford County and these costs are NOT comparable with other counties. A school of similar size built in Forsyth County costs nearly double to build in Guilford, just a few short miles apart.

Let me say this again…I will not work toward the bond’s defeat, if it goes down, it will go down on its own. But I support the right of the voter to make a sound, informed decision on the bond and I will respect the will of the voter if it passes.
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E.C. )


10 Responses

  1. Well, the cost per sq. ft. for construction may be similar (which I doubt), but GCS builds their schools with much more sq. ft. than other districts. They build for much more sq. ft. per student and much more common area than necessary for openers. I agree that if they are going to make these claims, they need to show the numbers. In other school districts, they build high schools for 2,000-3,000 students and GCS is stuck on 1,200. $80 million for a school for 1,200 students amounts to almost 67,000 per student. Nice digs.

    I was disappointed to see that Marti Sykes is on the committee. she did plenty of damage while she was on the school board, and her image was terrible in dealing with parents and county residents. Her relations with the public were terrible.

    Vote Yes for the Kids? Just another way of saying It’s for the Children. When you hear that, reach for your wallet.

  2. It’s also interesting that there are a lot of High Point people on the committee. What can we read from this?

    Alston, Faircloth, Lessard, Lisa Stahlmann, even Alice Moore–and in defense of Ms. Moore (public info. officer for the city of High Point), she and I had many interactions while I was on staff at the Enterprise back in 2000-01. Just an observation…

  3. Probably because High Point hasn’t had a new school in about 30 years. Maybe they too are finally sick of seeing the whole city get turned up-side-down all for the sake of High Point Central. Is there a new school for High Point on the bond? I generally don’t even look at what is proposed because it usually doesn’t happen. Look at Jamestown. Where’s their new school?

  4. Guilford County does not pay more to build schools than other counties. According to figures from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Planning 10/24/07), Guilford County pays roughly the same or less to build schools than those built under comparable circumstances in other counties.

    For example, the average cost of three elementary schools in Guilford County bid in 2006 was $142.15 a square foot. The average cost of all elementary schools bid in 2006 in North Carolina was $144.21 a square foot.

    The two middle schools bid in 2005 in Guilford County were slightly higher per square foot cost – about six dollars per square foot – than the average of the five other middle schools bid that same year across the state. The most expensive of the seven middle schools bid that year was bid in Bertie County. That school was nearly $20 per square foot higher than the average of the two middle schools bid in Guilford County.

    The only high school built in Guilford County in recent memory, Northern High School, was bid in 2005 at a cost of $149.64 per square foot. High schools bid in the same year in Chapel Hill, Mecklenburg County, Cabarrus County and Union County averaged $159.18 a square foot.

  5. Mr. Kendall, with all due respect, the numbers don’t add up.

    The costs-per-SF that GCS spends are enormously high, and we’re not getting a good return on our investment. Why is GCS proposing to build a school for $88 million for 1,500 students whereas Charlotte can build a school to house 2,000 students for $53 million? We’re not using best practices.

    The DPI numbers you cite should be on the pro-bonds website, and should be quoted, chapter and verse. They’re not, so it leaves the discerning reader to wonder.

    And I don’t see anything on the pro-bonds website about public-private partnerships, which is part of my platform. We’re not being innovative or creative in our thinking.

  6. I’s still like to see a legit, side by side comparison of the cost of Northern and Atkins/Reagan in W-S. They were approved by voters at about the same time, and all were to be built for 1,200 students. Atkins and Reagan were built for about $25 million each and Northern was about $50 million. I’m not sure we ever saw an actual cost for Northern, but that seems to be the ballpark. number.

  7. I would like to see it too, Stormy. Taxpayers have the right to know.

  8. Why hasn’t that information been shared with taxpayers? It should be public information. Maybe we have to do an official request for public records to get? Even then, it’ll probably take years to get it.

  9. Information: the FAQs on the site are updated routinely (like all site information). Perhaps there’s new info there; you should probably check back once in a while.

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