Budgets are hard. I can only imagine how difficult creating and balancing a school or school district budget can be. And I’m sure there are items that have to be included in that budget that would surprise just about anyone. I have to say, this one shocked me. One NC High School has $11,000 in its budget for groundhogs. Yes, groundhogs. Like, Punxsutawney Phil and February 2nd.
The School is Asheville High School in Buncombe County. And they have a groundhog problem. There is a massive presence of the animals on school property and they are causing significant damage. And it was revealed at a recent board of education meeting that the cost to remove them will be $11,000.
“It sounds funny, but it’s not funny at all. We have a real groundhog issue,” ACS Superintendent Gene Freeman told the Citizen-Times. Damage includes a crack in the school’s tennis courts, further damage to stone stairs, and more. Part of that $11,000 price tag comes from the home the groundhogs have made in a bank near the football field that has turned into a sinkhole.
The $11,000 for groundhog repairs is just a small portion of the repair budget for the 92-year-old school building. Though that issue needs to be addressed before the rest of the estimated multi-million dollars in renovations can take place.
Honestly I rarely even think about groundhogs and definitely don’t hear about them outside of February 2nd. Who knew these creatures could do this sort of damage. Hopefully, the animals will soon be able to be relocated to a more suitable home and the school can quickly repair the damage.
Gallery: Groundhog Day Celebrations