The Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) School District has won approval of a record $922 million bond proposal that clears the way for a surge of school construction.
The Charlotte Observer reports that the bond referendum received support from 73 percent of those voting.
“We are taking it as a vote of confidence that we are trusted to do the right thing with our facilities,” says Superintendent Clayton Wilcox.
The bond referendum is the largest in the district's history. It will enable the 146,000-student bond isdistrict to build 10 schools, replace the buildings of seven existing ones and cover additions and renovations at 12 schools.
The district needs additional space because 78 percent of its schools are at or over capacity, and about 20,000 students are being housed in 1,100 mobile classrooms.
Now that the bond referendum has passed, work will start almost immediately because the county has already approved funding to design the first projects. In August 2019, the first pair of projects is slated for completion. The Lincoln Heights school will be renovated as an elementary magnet. Meanwhile, the program for students with behavioral disabilities that is housed there now will move to a new building on the site of the old Statesville Road Elementary.
District voters have tended to support school bonds; the last referendum, for $295 million in 2013, won with 74 percent approval. The last time bonds failed was in 2005, with 57 percent saying no.