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County commissioners agree to place Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) district's $922 million bond request before voters

June 21, 2017
School system is seeking bond funds to build new schools to address enrollment growth and replace aging campuses.

Mecklenburg County, N.C., commissioners have agreed to place a $922 million school bond package on the November ballot.

If voters approve the bond request on Nov. 7, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg district would build 10 schools, as well as replace old schools and build additions to crowded campuses.

"Our students need school buildings that enable innovative, technology-supported teaching and learning, promote safe and orderly school operations, (and) support academic programs that spark their creativity and sharpen the critical-thinking skills they need to graduate ready for college and careers," the district's 2017 capital funding request states.

The school system wants to rebuild seven of its oldest campuses: West Charlotte High, Briarwood Elementary, Bruns Academy, Collinswood Language Academy, Lansdowne Elementary, Montclaire Elementary and Shamrock Gardens Elementary.

The district, with more than 146,000 students, says it needs new schools to accommodate the district's enrollment growth and replace aging campuses. According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg's capital funding plan, 78 percent of its schools are over capacity, and 78 of its facilities were built more than 50 years ago. Some 20,000 students are housed in 1,100 mobile classrooms throughout the district.

School officials say the $922 million sought in the bond vote would cover only about half of the $2 billion in needs identified in the district's 10-year capital improvement plan.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg's last bond referendum was in 2013; voters approved a $290 million package.

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