Friday, August 22, 2008

No Class

Many of you may have seen the WRAL news story regarding the capacity crisis at Panther Creek High School. This Monday, Panther Creek High School in Cary will start the school year with an additional 500 students over last year, and no classroom space to put them in. The mobile units needed to house these students are not yet even on site. Why??? Well that depends on who you ask. Ask WCPSS and they will tell you it is Cary’s fault – that we cannot approve the required permits for the 22 additional classroom units fast enough. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Here are the facts:

WCPSS knew about the need for these mobile units in 2007.

WCPSS filled out the application for permits on April 23, 2008 (that's when it was dated). However, Cary did not receive this application until May 16. It took WCPSS nearly a month to get Cary their application.

The application however was incomplete. It left out required information such as the number of units/site plan detail/etc...

After reviewing the application, Cary responded on June 9 that we needed more information, and also informed WCPSS ahead of time that a traffic study would be required if the additional units generated over 50 vehicle trips.

After WCPSS finally responded with the required information, Cary informed WCPSS on July 15 that a traffic study would most definitely be required.

WCPSS completed the required application for a traffic study, and on July 30 Cary contacted our traffic consultant for a price quote.

On Aug 1 that quote was sent to WCPSS.

On Aug 13 (2 weeks later) WCPSS finally paid for the traffic study and the consultant was instructed to proceed.

The traffic impact analysis, which is required by law, will be completed no later than Sept 10.

As you can clearly see, this is not Cary’s fault in any way shape or form – but that of WCPSS’s inability to plan accordingly. Cary has ordinances that we must follow, and WCPSS knows this. This is by no means the first time WCPSS has applied for permits, and this is by no means the first time trailers weren’t ready to go the first day of school due to PPPP.

It’s disappointing when folks can’t own up to their mistakes or take responsibility for their actions…or lack there of. Nobody wins in this situation; certainly not the children at Panther Creek High School.

Note: Cary High School, where many of the students now attending Panther Creek were reassigned from is 300+ students UNDER capacity.