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This choice got the most votes for Forsyth County’s new middle school’s name, plus what else you should know from Tuesday's Board of Education work session
Forsyth County Schools

Naming of Forsyth County Middle School 11

At the February work session of the Forsyth County Board of Education, Forsyth County Schools Director of Communications Jennifer Caracciolo presented the board with the results from their online poll to name future middle school 11, which is set to be built along Hyde Road in west Forsyth County.

According to Caracciolo, out of the 20,083 individuals that participated in the survey, Hendricks Middle School, named after former board member Don Hendricks, was the overwhelming choice, garnering over 15,000 votes.

The vote totals include:

  • Hendricks Middle School — 15,249
  • Cobb Middle School — 1,638
  • Drew Middle School — 1,501

Caracciolo said that there were also a large number of write-in votes that were popular with the community.

Those options included:

  • Blue Springs — 606
  • Jim Bishop — 171
  • Gene Evans — 162
  • Major Moulder — 159
  • Ducktown Middle School — 141

Now that the votes have been totaled, Caracciolo said that they will return next week at the February meeting for the board.

Verizon cell tower proposed for school system property in south Forsyth

At the work session, Forsyth County Schools Chief Facilities Officer Bill McKnight presented the board with a proposal by a company representing Verizon Wireless expressing interest in leasing land on the Riverwatch Middle School and Settles Bridge Elementary School property to build a cell phone tower.

According to McKnight, the company is interested in a 100-by-100 square-foot area and is offering $1,000 per month for what is typically a 25-year lease.

"The property will need to be rezoned in order for this to happen, and Verizon is willing to assist with this and pay attorney's fees," McKnight said. "If the board is interested in pursuing this, Verizon will further evaluate the property to insure that a tower in this location will adequately meet the needs of the community."

After McKnight’s statement to the board, Forsyth County School Superintendent Jeff Bearden stated this type of agreement had come before previous boards and had not been accepted.

Bearden said that if accepted the system could put any revenues towards their Education Foundation.  

“We saw this as a good opportunity, if the board wanted to move forward, to use that funding for the Education Foundation,” Bearden said. “That would give them $12,000 a year of additional income to support grants in our school system."

Board members had several questions for McKnight about the details of the agreement, including where the tower would be in relation to the school and whether Verizon would fit certain costs of the rezoning process, but McKnight stated that the details would need to be worked out.

"There are many more details that this department will have to work out with Verizon before the lease can be finalized," McKnight said.

Bearden said that in the end the system will have final approval into any agreement.

"The bottom line is we would have final approval. All we're asking today is, 'Is it OK to move forward?'” he said.

The board then approved the system bring back the item at a later date.