by Sam Hieb
During last night’s Guilford County Board of Education’s discussion of increases to the revised $454 million bond, board member Amos Quick called out facilities staff on the $88 million cost for an airport-area high school.
GCS facilities director Joe Hill tried to parse the numbers as best he could, citing land costs, hard costs, soft costs, per-square-foot costs, etc. But Quick wasn’t (pun intended) buying it:
“It’s still going to be $88 million. I understand what you’re saying…..But the total cost of what we’re going to be paying, according to this projection, is still $88 million. For some people, believe it or not, that’s not acceptable…..The point I’m trying to make is that when we’re talking about a bond package that grows every time we get together, every time we get together to talk about this, it seems to me, this figure grows. Now we’re talking about $500 million.
“I explicitly remember that some of us on this board were talking about how we didn’t want to get to $500 million…..We decided a long time ago that we did not want to get to the $500 million range because we did not think the voters would pass something that’s half a billion dollars. Then when you have a glaring example of almost $100 million for one school, my point is that for some people, that’s going to be unacceptable.”
Superintendent Terry Grier responded by mumbling more crunched numbers before concluding that “it’s just a lot of money.” No kidding.