On November 7, 2023, voters in Mecklenburg County passed a $2.5 billion bond referendum to fund Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools projects across the county. The money will replace, improve, and renovate facilities at thirty-one schools across the district. Voters approved the package by a wide margin, with 63% in favor, although only 15% of registered voters cast a ballot. All but six county precincts voted in favor.

North Mecklenburg High School will receive $228 million, more than any other school, as the bond referendum’s flagship investment. This funding will facilitate an “onsite replacement of… [the] campus [and a] comprehensive athletics package,” according to the district. Constructed in 1949, the school currently operates in the oldest facilities of any high school in the county. It is plagued by mold, rodent and insect infestations, poor water quality, and more problems that affect students’ day-to-day-lives. The bond package will remedy that.

According to official CMS documents reviewed by the Viking Voice, the North Mecklenburg High School project will allow classes to continue during construction. The proposal features a new three-story, 100-classroom school with a new cafeteria, gymnasium, and auditorium. CMS says that the project will provide a “state-of-the-art learning environment” for students. 

The new building will be located on the corner of Old Statesville Road and Alexandriana Road, adjacent to the current campus. 

Once the main school building is completed, all current buildings on campus will be demolished. Only the automotive building will be left standing and will continue to be in use. The bonds will fund a new 258-car parking lot to support 225 staff, new tennis courts, a new practice field, and a new baseball field — all of which will be situated where the school currently sits. Furthermore, the current football field will be replaced with artificial turf.

County requirements mandate that construction occur at least thirty feet from any active buildings to prevent disruptions; however, in the near future, noise concerns may become an issue for students and teachers.

Another potential concern voiced by some teachers is a reduction in the number of classrooms available for instruction. While the bonds will fund the construction of a 100-classroom school, 104 classrooms are currently in operation at North Mecklenburg. This may serve to increase the need for additional mobile classrooms. 

A possible reason for this shortcoming is a decrease in funding from the original proposed bond referendum. In February, CMS recommended a $2.997 billion package, nearly $500 million more than the final package. Part of the funding cuts came from the North Mecklenburg project, which was originally slated to receive $266 million.

Despite these cuts, North Mecklenburg’s new facilities will have a significant impact on the well-being, morale, health, and learning environment of students. The move from the aged facilities into the new ones will benefit all of its students, teachers, and staff. 🆅

Photo credits: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools