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Joint board meeting notes

By Gerald Totten
Posted Friday, February 16, 2007

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Siler City, NC - Interesting to read the two reporters’ take on the meeting last night when the Jack Bennett Road site was discussed! I saw it as a very positive sign because agreement as to how to proceed on that site was pretty thoroughly discussed with comments from a number of citizens too.

Commissioner Patrick Barnes correctly pointed out that it is indeed rare when a site cannot be built upon. His experience as a contractor over the years saw him in some pretty tough sites where he brought order out of chaos at the hands of skilled equipment operation of dirt moving equipment. Other commissioners raised points they had observed about the ravines, wetlands and limited building areas. Three of the five commissioners have now toured the site and all of the current Board of Education members have as well.

The major agreements reached emphasize the need and timing for a new high school in consonance with the County’s Capital Improvement Plan; that the hired consultant’s report due in a few weeks should be followed as to location of a new high school; that the budgeted construction funds are probably overstated by several million dollars; that the overstated amounts could be used for improvements as needed to Northwood High School and others rather than be reduced provided the school system develops a reasonable plan for the overages; that competitive architect services as well as other related building contracts should be followed; and that the cooperation between the two boards will be continued.

Other site related points were made such as the need to seek permits as early as possible regarding run off into the Jordan Lake watershed, sub soil engineering, developing the plan offered by Westfall Development (formerly Booth Mountain) to process the waste generated and an effort to secure added access routes rather than rely on the only one now available.

It was agreed the next joint meeting will be to discuss the consultant’s recommendation for optimum site location.

Gerald Totten is a member of the Chatham County Board of Education

 
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