Growing Pains or Growing Opportunities?

At a Facilities Committee meeting on April 15, Joe Desormeaux, Assistant Superintendent for Facilities, identified $348 million per year in new schools, major renovations, life cycle replacements, and land acquisition over the next six years.

This keeps pace with the number of new students expected to arrive in Wake County, which is just over 3,200 students per year, until 2020.

At that same meeting, Johnna Rogers, Wake County Deputy Manager, provided an overview of Wake County debt and capital finance.  To stay within the county’s fiscal policies, the county has the capacity to provide approximately, “$305 million in new TOTAL CAPACITY per year for future WCPSS, Wake Tech, Open Space/Parks, Libraries capital programs.”

It doesn’t take much math to see the $43 million gap in capital needs and capital funding capacity as described by Desormeaux and Rogers.  And the gap does not include providing for Wake Tech, any additional open space, and new or expanded libraries.

Welcome to Wake County, where we have the fortunate problem of growth.  Given the number of municipal and county fiscal horror stories featured over the past seven years, it’s arguable that no elected body would trade our “woes” for those suffered by Detroit, San Bernadino, Stockton, or Jefferson County, AL.

People and businesses come to Wake County because it is a great place to live, work, play, and raise a family.  We have exceptional public schools and wonderful parks.  We feature world-class colleges and universities, and one of the largest and most successful community colleges in the nation.

Our success means we need more schools, more libraries, more community college space, and more parks.

Growing pains?  Maybe.  But we’re Wake County.  We got this.

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