Thursday, June 1, 2000
By Kate Hartig
Seven out of the 13 Chapel Hill-
Carrboro City district schools are run
ning out of room, with fall 2000 pro
jected enrollment figures putting them
either over or at their capacity.
Last Thursday, the Chapel Hill-
Carrboro City School Board approved
guidelines to restrict the enrollment of
inner-district transfer students as a way
to alleviate overcrowding in some
already tight schools.
Assistant superintendent Steve
Scroggs said Tuesday that this new pol
icy only affects those students who wish
to transfer to another school within the
“This new restriction doesn’t affect
any new student who moves into the
area. A student who moves into the
Frank Porter Graham Elementary dis
trict will be allowed to enroll in that
school,” he said. “Right now we are try
ing to adjust the numbers and balance
the situation by restricting transfers.”
No new transfer students will be
allowed at Estes Hill Elementary,
Glenwood Elementary, Scroggs
Elementary and McDougle and Phillips
Middle Schools. Next year, each one of
these schools will be either over or near
Charley Stewart, principal at
McDougle Middle, expects the over
crowding next year to be at its worst.
Right now, the school’s projected fall
2000 enrollment is nearly 100 students
over its capacity; the school can hold
Politics, Safety Stall Proposed Quarry
By Riss Lane
Aiming to satisfy Orange
County’s water needs for the next
30 years, a long-standing reservoir
expansion proposal is meeting final
ization with some political and envi
WYrile Carrboro’s Board of
Aldermen is witholding approval of
the extension, chemicals from a for
mer asphalt plant near the quarry
have raised question of the water
First proposed to elected officials
in 1988, the plan would expand the
American Stone Company’s current
reservoir off Route 54 onto land
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732 students, but is expecting 832,
according to numbers released by dis
trict officials last month. This year it was
20 percent over capacity.
“We have been uncomfortably
crowded this year,” he said. “The over
crowding stretches the school’s infra
structure, too; our cafeteria is really
crowded and our gym has several RE.
classes going on at the same time.”
Stewart said the overcrowding affects
the teachers more than the students.
“Teachers have to move from class
room to classroom in the same three
minute break the students have,” he
said. “Some teachers have to go from a
classroom in the sixth-grade hall to one
in the seventh-grade hall and set up to
teach in the same time students change
classes. It’s hard.”
McDougle Middle also has two trail
ers used as additional classrooms almost
all periods of the day, Stewart said.
According to Scroggs, all of the dis
trict middle schools are overcrowded.
The opening of Smith Middle School in
the fall of 2001 will help the problem.
“We are asking the middle schools to
hang on just one more year,” Scroggs
While middle schools are the most
crowded, all levels are feeling the effects
of overcrowding and will be subject to
Next year, the elementary school
population in the district will rise from
4,203 to 4,300 students, said Scroggs.
Projected enrollment predicts the need
for anew elementary school by 2003.
Transfer students will be allowed into
owned by the Orange Water and
Sewer Authority in Carrboro.
The expansion would provide the
county with a 300-billion gallon
water supply, safeguarding against
water shortages and meeting supply
needs until 2030. This expansion
requires the relocation of Bethel-
Hickory Grove Church Road and
the removal of 25 acres of rock.
Although Chapel Hill Town
Council already approved the
expansion, the Board of Aldermen
is concerned with the quarry’s
impact on area residents.
The current quarry proposal
would place 343 Carrboro residents
within five thousand feet of the
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McDougle Middle School teacher Julie Vasquez pushes a cart of equipment into a classroom to create a makeshift science room. She must move
between three classrooms to teach four algebra and science classes due to a classroom shortage.
Culbreth Middle, Ephesus, Frank Porter
Graham and Seawell Elementary only if
it balances with students leaving.
Even though the two district high
schools, East Chapel Hill and Chapel
Hill High Schools are not going to be
over capacity next year, projected
enrollment figures put the high school
population at 400 students over capaci
ty by 2005. East Chapel Hill High
opened only five years ago with 1,500
Carrboro Town Manager Robert
Morgan said owners of private wells
near the reservoir reported prob
lems with their systems. “There’s
been a series of public hearings on
this issue over the past years where
people have had difficulties with
their well systems,” he said.
OWASA Director Ed Holland
said that a No-Fault Well Repair
Fund would be created to compen
sate residential well problems creat
ed by rock excavation.
“Any affects outside quarry prop
erty is beyond the distance where
the blast would impact people,” he
said. “Be that as it may, OWASA
and ASC are trying to be consider
ate to the feelings of the communi
ty and provide money for the
In addition to residential con
cerns, the quarry expansion may be
halted by possible contamination.
OWASA consultants detected
high levels of petroleum hydrocar
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New transfers will be allowed into
East Chapel Hill and Chapel Hill High
Schools only on an individual basis.
Just in the past five years, the district
school population has risen from 7,475
to over 9,000 students. The district is
expecting even more growth due to new
area developments, but school officials
are not too concerned at the moment.
“We are in good shape for this com-
bons at the former Nello Teer
asphalt plant near the quarry.
Kerwin said OWASA officials are
investigating these contaminations.
Despite the possibility of severe
contamination, Holland said that
the Nello Teer area and the accep
tance of the expansion proposals are
two separate issues.
“We don’t know the vertical or
horizontal extent of the contamina
tion,” Holland said. “Under the
extension proposal, the entire area
would be excavated, so we do not
expect it to be a problem.”
Although the extension is still
pending approval from county and
state officials, Holland said
OWASA’s plan cannot continue
without the Board’s blessing.
“The Carrboro consideration is a
critical step, but by no means the
The City/State & National Editor can be
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ing year,” he said. “We might worry
more next year when more families start
moving into these new developments.”
Ginny Berg, principal at Frank Porter
Graham Elementary said she has
already requested additional staff mem
bers to combat the growth next year.
The school will be just over capacity
with 552 students.
“Most of our classes are over state
guidelines,” she said. “Teachers can
Boy Had Gun 3 Days
Before Fla. Shooting
Security may have been lax
at the school where the 7th
grade honor student killed a
Two youths claim Nathaniel Brazill
was brandishing a small handgun three
days before a school shooting that left a
popular English teacher dead, police
Police also released recordings of the
911 call made Friday when Lake Worth
Middle School teacher Barry Grunow
was fatally shot on the last day of class
Brazill, a seventh-grade honor stu
dent, was sent home from school after
he was caught throwing water balloons
in a hallway.
The 13-year-old student later
returned and allegedly fired one shot
from a small gun, killing the 35-year-old
Brazill is being held while a grand
jury considers the case.
The youths, who were not identified
by police, told investigators Brazill
showed them the gun near his home on
May 23, but they did not tell anyone
about it, Police Chief William Smith said
in a statement Monday.
The 911 tapes show the first officer
arrived at the school within 90 seconds
after the call was made.
Recordings between emergency units
show police had Brazill and a .25-caliber
Raven semi-automatic handgun in cus
tody 4 minutes from the time the call
was made, said Lt. Raychel Houston, a
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instruct better with smaller classroom,
Scroggs said in the meantime they
will continue trying to adjust numbers to.
He said, “The main work on our part
is to balance out the numbers, and we 1
are working hard on that.”
The City/State <S National Editor can
be reached email@example.com.
A lawyer for Grunow’s family called
security at the school ineffective and
said his clients haven't ruled out suing.
Phoenix Arms, the manufacturer of the'
Raven handgun allegedly used in the
“It's time to stop acting like this is a
backwater town and put the schools'
security in the hands of professionals,”
attorney Bob Montgomery told The
Palm Beach Post for its Monday edi
Investigators have examined the bed
room dresser drawer where Brazill's
grandfather, Elmore McCray, 75, claims
he kept the handgun that police say
Brazill used to kill Grunow.
An agent from the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is also
working on tracing the weapon, police
Brazill's mother agreed Sunday to
allow detectives to search her son's
room. Police retrieved the seventh-grad
er's computer, and have asked the FBI
for their assistance in analyzing its con
Also found were CD-ROM games
and some written materials - including
printed Web pages with featuring heli
copters and guns - which investigators
said suggest Brazill was interested in
weapons, or perhaps a career in the mil
itary or law enforcement.
State Attorney Barry Krischer said
Sunday he would ask a judge Tuesday to
seat a grand jury to consider this case.
The grand jury will charge him,
deciding whether the teen-ager will be
tried as an adult.
Krischer has said that he wants
Brazill tried as an adult. £
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