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Charter school proposed in Orange County (N.C.) district

May 16, 2023
A developer is seeking to rezone an 85-acre tract to allow construction of a school.

A proposed charter school campus with room to grow would give residents of Orange County, N.C., another choice for students and community recreation on the outskirts of Hillsborough.

The Raleigh News and Observer reports that Hillsborough developer Jim Parker is seeking approval of a conditional rezoning and master plan for an 85-acre campus.

The Orange County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to discuss the proposal at a meeting next month.

The county’s Planning Board has recommended 7-3 that the county commissioners reject the project. Residents also have come out against the plans, worried about increased stress on water and septic systems and more traffic.

The first part of the proposed campus could be a 600-student Western Triangle High School offering individualized, project-based STEM learning, similar to its sister school, Research Triangle High School in Durham.

The high school, backed by the nonprofit Triangle Schools NC, would open with 150 ninth-grade seats and add additional grade levels each year.

The campus could also have room for six parking lots with over 600 spaces, green space and athletic sites, including an indoor recreation center and tennis club; tennis, pickleball and basketball courts; soccer and baseball fields; playgrounds; and a skate park.

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