SEVEN LAKES, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina Department of Transportation needs a portion of the property West End Elementary School sits on to widen North Carolina Route 211.

The school system declined $180,000 NCDOT offered for the property.

According to the Moore County Board of Education, the expansion would impact a portion of the school’s parking lot, creating safety and noise concerns.

“I think that’s everybody’s concern, with the kids and everything. But unfortunately, the other side is a railroad track, and you can move those,” resident Katy Vanfohouten said. “It’s something everybody is going to have to learn, to slow down and be careful.”

The growth in the area is why the highway needs four lanes.

“I don’t like the growth, but I know we have to do it. Because the traffic is getting heavier and heavier,” Vanfohouten said.

Additionally, NCDOT sent CBS 17 a statement about the situation.

“The Department has been in contact with the Moore County Board of Education for about a year regarding the right-of-way acquisition process. Because the parties could not come to terms on a settlement over the course of this time, condemnation became necessary to keep this important project – which was identified as a need by the local planning organization – on schedule. The Department has followed all federal and state guidelines and NCDOT right-of-way policy throughout this process. NCDOT has entered litigation with the Moore County Board of Education, and the Department does not comment on active litigation.”

MCBOE said after the widening project, traffic would be less than 80 feet from the school’s entrance.

MCBOE requested NCDOT pay the appraised property value, cost of safety barriers and cover the cost of relocating classrooms.

All were denied.

Richard Schwartz, the Attorney for MCBOE, sent CBS 17 this statement:

“The School system has serious concerns about safety, noise and all of our school students, staff and employees. We are going to continue to negotiate with NCDOT until we arrive at a safe and equitable solution.”