Six years after voters said yes, CMS is about to start building a new southern school

(Photo provided to Charlotte Observer)

CHARLOTTE, NC (Ann Doss Helms/Charlotte Observer) – A long-awaited K-8 school that will relieve several crowded schools in southern Mecklenburg County will get the go-ahead Tuesday when the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board is expected to approve a $30 million construction contract.

The yet-unnamed school just off Providence Road, in the Rea Farms development between Ardrey Kell Road and Interstate 485, will pull students from Ballantyne, Elon Park, Hawk Ridge and Polo Ridge elementary schools and Community House and J.M. Robinson middle schools. It’s slated to open in August 2020, the final project from a $295 school bond package voters approved in 2013.

While overall enrollment in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has flattened, schools in the county’s southern tip are mostly crowded and growing. Community House Middle, for instance, was built for fewer than 1,200 students but has about 1,900 this year, with 18 mobile classrooms used to extend capacity.

The contract on Tuesday’s school board agenda would award the $29.9 million project to Balfour Beatty Construction. The 54-classroom school will have a science, technology, engineering, arts and math, or STEAM, theme.

While the Rea Road school will exhaust the 2013 bond money, CMS still has a long list of projects lined up to be funded from the $922 million bond package approved in 2017. And district leaders are meeting with elected officials from Mecklenburg County and the county’s seven municipalities to plan future construction and renovation.

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