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The total is $132 million, meaning the entire list is school replacements and renovations.
Western Guilford High School was one of the schools that would have supplied students to the mythical airport area high school in the first place – although most of the proposed school's students would have come from Northwest Guilford High School, the best-performing regular high school in the county, which now has 27 mobile classrooms. In general, Northwest parents didn't want their children to go to a new school – they simply wanted new classrooms.
The mystery is: Why is Western Guilford – which has a capacity of 1,310 students without mobile classrooms and an enrollment of 1,257 – is on the list instead of Northwest, which has a capacity of 1,625 without mobile classrooms and an enrollment of 1,904.
As school board member Rebecca Buffington said of Northwest, "It's not just like we can shift some neighborhoods and make this go away."Guilford County Schools
Director of Facilities Planning Donna Bell replied, "I think that would be difficult."
That raises the issue of redistricting, the school board's least favorite and most politically fraught activity, but one it's going to have to take responsibility for doing to solve some of the school system's capacity needs.
Duncan said, "The unpleasant subject of redistricting is rising in the next year."
School board member Linda Welborn, who was elected in November, said, to laughter, "Had I known that before I came on the board ..."
Duncan replied, "It's an ever-popular conversation."
The school board can't dodge that conversation. To give just one example, High Point Central supposedly has a capacity of 1,386 – and can't use mobile classrooms because of its designation as a historic building. It has an enrollment of 1,390. That 1,386 enrollment is suspect, because High Point Central teachers, students and parents report crowded classrooms with students sitting on floors and radiators. High Point Central's enrollment is projected to increase to 1,612 by 2021.
Andrews High School in High Point, by comparison, has a capacity of 1,225 – but an enrollment of only 789, meaning it could hold 436 more students if the school board redrew the attendance zones of Central and Andrews.