Ribbon cutting and chamber expo will showcase county’s newest school.
by Becky Kimbrell-Norris
ROLESVILLE — Months of construction are nearing an end in Rolesville. The results of an ambitious plan to build a new high school in the town are visible and the community will soon have a high school to call their own.
The last time Rolesville had its own high school was more than 45 years ago. The new school, located at 1099 E. Young Street, will be Wake County’s largest high school. It scheduled to open Tuesday, July 23.
“The school is technically complete,” said Rolesville High School principal Ericka Lucas. “The crews have a punch list to make sure some small things are polished and finished.”
“They have worked through the rain and have been awesome,” she continued. “After the crew nails a few things down, the school will be in great shape for us to open. We are all excited and ready to move in.”
Teachers will report to school Aug. 16 and classes are set to begin Aug. 26 with 600 students in ninth and 10th grades. Within three years, the school’s enrollment across all four grades is expected to reach its capacity of 2,300.
Lucas was appointed principal this past December and has been working out of an office at Rolesville Middle since January. There, she has spent her days charting the coursework at Rolesville High and gathering her staff by interviewing prospective teachers and coaches.
“It’s been a long process,” she said, “and I’m still working on it. In addition to interviewing, there are reference and background checks that have to be done.”
Forty teachers have been hired and Lucas said she plans to fill eight more positions, including some coaches. Two assistant principals and the support staff are also in place.
“We do need some more coaches because we want to field as many teams as we can this year,” Lucas said. “As long as we have enough coaches, we will have a team.”
Lucas is searching for coaches who can teach subjects other than physical education.
“I have found many who are also certified to teach other subjects,” she said. “So far, we have a good mix here. I have a math teacher who is also the cheerleading coach.”
The Rams will field a varsity team in every sport with the exception of football, which will only play on the junior varsity level this fall.
According to Rolesville High Athletic Director Tommy Moore, more than 200 students have shown an interest in sports and have registered online for the sport of their choice.
“Of course, many of those are interested in more than one sport,” Moore said. “We anticipate more interest, especially from the rising ninth graders from the year-round middle schools.”
Summer workouts have been held at the athletic facilities at Rolesville Middle and Moore said the workouts will continue there. The coaches and their athletes will not occupy the fields and facilities at Rolesville High until the building opens.
Small town is great fit
The building of Rolesville High completes a vision the town leaders have planned for a while and what’s amazing to Lucas is the support from the area.
“Being from a small town myself, I can easily relate to Rolesville, which fits my personality,” Lucas said. “The town has been working with us from day one and Mayor Frank Eagles has been awesome.”
Lucas also said she met with the individual who sold the land for the school and has even spoken to some members of the last graduating class of Rolesville High.
“I want to get to know them,” she said. “The support has been great from everyone in Rolesville and I welcome that.”
Lucas admitted she has stayed away from visiting the new school on a regular basis.
“I just want it to be finished and be able to see the kids’ faces,” she said. “The building is beautiful inside and out and we’re all proud to be a part of it.”
“It’s very exciting to be a part of something this big,” said Lucas, who was on the building committee when plans for a Rolesville High were initiated.
“I never knew I would be the principal here,” she said, “but I’m certainly thankful to be here.”