The first bond will be $120 million toward the improvement of capacity and security for Orange County Schools. Specifically, Chapel Hill High, Lincoln Center, Phoenix Academy High, Cedar Ridge High and Orange High will see major renovation and maintenance improvement among others.
Funds will go to sustainable student transportation, capacity expansion and renovation. Critical maintenance issues will also be addressed.
“I think it’s important for people to understand that we built 12 schools in 20 years,” Penny Rich, Orange County Board of Commissioners member, said. “We weren’t left with funds for repairs and upkeep.”
Rich said older schools are in need of repair, and this bond will address those problems.
Rabina Sawhney, a first-year at UNC, attended East Chapel Hill High. She said the funds are badly needed.
“A lot of the facilities are old and there’s a lot of over-crowding going on,” she said. “We need more classrooms and space, even just for lunch in the cafeteria. Some of the classrooms didn’t have enough desks or tables for every person so you would need to bring in chairs from other classrooms and things like that.”
John Holman has been a resident of Chapel Hill for many years. He said taking care of teachers’ wages should be priority and that the bonds aren’t addressing the right problems.
“Teachers need a raise, ‘cause they’re the most important people on earth,” Holman said. “They make less than anybody.”