New school in south Charlotte

The new school will include a four-story classroom wing, which will be a first for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. This was necessary due to the site, according to construction manager Dennis LaCaria. Photo courtesy of CMS

CHARLOTTE – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools approved real estate transactions May 25 that will allow the district to secure land next to British International School for a new building that will relieve overcrowding at Ardrey Kell and South Mecklenburg high schools.

CMS will pay nearly $15 million as well as swap 21.2 acres across from Ardrey Kell and nearly an acre from the City of Charlotte to obtain 54.3 acres from Woodfield Acquisitions LLC hemmed in between Johnston Road, North Community House Road and Four Mile Creek. The value of both offerings is about $26 million.

“This is a long-awaited, long-debated move by this board in order to deliver relief to the south Charlotte and the south part of the county,” school board member Sean Strain said during the May 25 meeting.

Strain remembers a previous plan to build the relief high school near Olde Providence that he called ill-advised. He challenged staff to find a better location, preferably between I-485 and N.C. 51.

Superintendent Earnest Winston said the high school is scheduled to open in 2024.

“It may be projected a year later and 20% smaller than committed in the 2017 bond referendum, but we’re a very significant step closer to long overdue high school relief in Ballantyne,” Strain wrote on his Facebook page.

Strain thanked school staff as well as county and city partners. The school board also entered into a contract with the City of Charlotte to buy the acre to complete the deal.

One of the conditions of the deal is that CMS will have to rebuild a baseball field for neighboring British International School.

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