CHARLOTTE – Nearly $50 million of the $290 million bond referendum proposed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools would directly affect three schools in the Lake Norman area.
Included in the 17 projects is a $30.67 million replacement school for J.M. Alexander Middle, $9.5 million to convert Davidson Elementary to a kindergarten through eighth-grade school and $8.6 million for the first phase on implementing career and technology education institutes in North Mecklenburg, West Mecklenburg, Garinger and Independence high schools.
With 78 of 160 CMS schools at least 50 years old, one benefit of the bond package would be the ability to renovate and replace older buildings.
Alexander Middle is one of three schools that would be replaced. The 54-year-old, 51-classroom school would be torn down and replaced with a 54-classroom building on the same site. The new building would allow for growth in its International Baccalaureate program.
The school has 886 students and a partial IB program supported by IB programs at Blythe Elementary and North Mecklenburg High, according to CMS.
Though the school overall is in poor condition, there are parts that are still in good shape, Associate Superintendent for Auxiliary Services Guy Chamberlain said. The plan is to retain those areas and potentially use them for programs in the northern part of the county.
The replacement school is scheduled to open August 2017.
The bond package could also help relieve overcrowding and accommodate growing enrollment throughout the district.
The conversion of Davidson Elementary School from a kindergarten through fifth grade to a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school would include the addition of 20 classrooms to the existing 32.
The additional classrooms and new grade configuration would give Bailey Middle School more space, provide continuity to families in the Davidson Elementary boundary and accommodate for enrollment growth, according to CMS.
The project would be scheduled for completion by January 2019. The current building was constructed in the mid-1990s.
By August 2019, phase one of adding career and technical education institutes would be complete in four high schools, including North Mecklenburg. The institute would provide various career and technical courses such as automotive, carpentry, culinary, cosmetology and horticulture.
CMS needs to provide more choices for parents and students to compete with the increase of charter schools, Chamberlain said, adding that it’s an issue facing every district in North Carolina, not just CMS.
CMS has created a webpage dedicated for the bond request. It can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1akQSKJ. Questions can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Key election dates:
• Registration deadline, Oct. 11
• Early voting is open from Oct. 24-Nov. 2
• General election, Nov. 5
What’s in the bond package?
Listed below are the 17 projects that the bond money would go toward if approved by voters. Listed is the project, followed by the budgeted cost and anticipated completion time:
• Oakhurst STEAM Magnet Elementary/Starmount Elementary conversion – $5.94 million (August 2015).
• Nations Ford Elementary replacement – $19.44 million (August 2016).
• Statesville Road Elementary replacement – $20.34 million (August 2016).
• Olympic High addition/renovation – $8.96 million (January 2017).
• J.M. Alexander Middle replacement – $30.67 million (August 2017).
• New language immersion pre-k-eighth grade/Albemarle Road elementary and middle relief – $30.38 million (August 2017).
• New pre-K–eighth grade, Barryhill-Reid Park relief – $30.38 million (August 2017).
• Selwyn Elementary renovation - $2.59 million – (January 2018).
• East Mecklenburg High addition – $12.74 million (August 2018).
• Myers Park High addition – $22.25 million (August 2018).
• Northridge Middle addition – $6.45 million (August 2018).
• Northwest School of the Arts renovation - $12.42 million (August 2018).
• South Mecklenburg High addition – $18.36 million (August 2018).
• Davidson K-8 conversion – $9.5 million (January 2019).
• Career and technology education institutes phase one at North Mecklenburg, Garinger, West Mecklenburg and Independence high schools – $8.64 million (August 2019).
• Pre-K-eighth-grade conversation phase two for Ashley Park, Bruns Avenue, Walter G. Byers, Druid Hills, Reid Park, Westerly Hills – $24,73 million (August 2019).
• New STEAM K-8, relief for Ballantyne, Elon Park, Hawk Ridge and Polo Ridge elementary schools and Community House and Jay M. Robinson middle schools – $31.38 million (August 2020).