N.C. School District Drops 10 Planned Projects During Inflation

Local news reports that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, N.C., has been asked to shelve 10 of 40 construction projects that were planned to put before voters on a 2023 bond referendum. District planners came up with the original list in January and planned to ask voters to approve about $3 billion in bonds to fund the construction. However, against the backdrop of inflation, county officials questioned what the price of those projects would be during the next five to seven years as they become a reality.

Interim Superintendent Crystal Hill asked the school board to remove 10 of the 40 projects from the list, but to still request the same amount of funding. “These projects have an estimated value of $2.99 billion,” she said as she introduced the revised list of proposed projects. “This amount is escalated, which means it does include inflation.”

The scaled-back list eliminates plans to replace eight aging elementary school facilities and two aging middle school facilities, according to local news.

Still on the docket are three brand-new middle schools, a new high school, a district-wide athletic facility, and about 25 replacements and renovations at aging facilities around the district. The goal is to improve school safety, learning conditions, and accommodate future enrollment growth, said construction consultant Dennis LaCaria.

“Those schools are going to be newer facilities, and they’re also typically larger than the facilities that they’re going to replace, so we will pick up capacity while addressing conditions,” said LaCaria.

Highlights from the revised list of projects include a regional athletic, multi-sport complex with a price of $114 million; final phases of renovation at Harding University High for $208 million; final phases of renovation at East Mecklenburg High for $206 million; and replacing aging facilities and athletic facilities at North Mecklenburg High for $266 million.

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Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].