Anytime you spend a couple of billion dollars building, renovating and repairing school buildings, there’s going to be some disagreement as to how that money should be allocated.

Some of that conversation took place at a Guilford County Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, April 20, and much more of it will occur on Tuesday, April 25, when the county commissioners and school board members – along with county and school system staff – meet for a work session on school facilities projects.

Between a $300 million school bond referendum that Guilford County voters approved in 2020, and a $1.7 billion referendum in 2022, the schools now have funding for quite a large number of projects that are on the drawing board – and those plans are already beginning to garner some negative feedback.

The commissioners want to track the expenditure of that money closely and that’s one reason the Joint Capital/Facilities Committee was formed several years ago.  The group, consisting of Guilford County Commissioners and Board of Education members has scheduled the work session for Tuesday, April 25 at 4 the John McAdoo Conference Room on the third floor of the county owned Truist Bank Building at 201 W. Market St. in downtown Greensboro.

The official stated purpose of the work session is “to receive updates on school facilities and construction projects and any other necessary business.”

The commissioners don’t run the school system, but they do have ultimate say over the purse strings for the $2 billion that the schools are in the process of spending to update facilities.  In order for the school system to spend one penny of that money, the commissioners have to give their approval.

At the Board of Commissioners’ Thursday, April 20 meeting, the commissioners heard an earful from several speakers from the floor who were displeased with current school plans – especially plans for a proposed new K-8 school near Colfax.

Two days before that April 20 commissioners’ meeting, residents in the area of the proposed new school met with Guilford County Schools (GCS) representatives. One woman who was at that meeting told the commissioners that the meeting with school officials didn’t go well.

“Over 50 people were in attendance on short notice,” she said. “No one was happy – it was a contentious meeting. The meeting hosted by GCS representatives fell short on professionalism, transparency, and addressing any concerns residents have.”

She also said the roads to the school were hilly and had sharp turns that were not conducive to school traffic.

“It’s a disaster waiting to happen,” she told the commissioners at the board’s April 20 meeting.

Guilford County Commissioner James Upchurch also had some tough comments at the meeting for the school system’s plan.  He noted some of the residents’ complaints about the K-8 school.  He said it turns out that the property is too small to host a planned STEM Program and also that students wouldn’t be able to start taking classes at the school until 2026 or 2027.

That’s just one of the school projects that county residents have concerns about, so there will be plenty for the commissioners and school board members to discuss at the April 25 joint committee work session.

The meeting room will be open to the public and there will also be a virtual viewing option using Zoom at

In addition, the meeting will be livestreamed on Guilford County’s Facebook page.

Copies of the work session agenda will be available prior to the start of the meeting at

You can contact Deputy Clerk Ariane Webb at with any questions.