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CMS signs a $125 million contract to build a high school in Ballantyne

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

A new school to relieve crowding at Ardrey Kell and South Mecklenburg high schools came a step closer to reality Wednesday. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board approved a $125 million contract for Messer Construction to build the school, which will open in 2024.

Last week the district closed on the 71-acre site in the Ballantyne neighborhood, near the intersection of Johnston and Community House roads and I-485. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools presented design and construction plans to the community in September.

The school is part of the $922 million school bond package Mecklenburg voters approved in 2017. CMS expects to hold a new bond referendum next year.

Ardrey Kell and South Meck each have more than 3,000 students, making them among the largest schools in North Carolina.

The board also voted Wednesday to advance four other school projects:

  • A $30.7 million contract with Edifice for the second phase of construction on a new elementary school in east Charlotte. It will open in 2023 and pull students from Hidden Valley, J.W. Grier and Newell elementaries.
  • A $29.4 million contract with Balfour Beatty Construction for the second phase of construction on a new south Charlotte elementary school opening in 2023. It will pull students from Elon, Hawk Ridge and Polo Ridge elementaries.
  • A $1.8 million contract with Randolph & Son Builders for renovations to E.E. Waddell, which was most recently used as a K-8 language immersion school and is scheduled to reopen as a high school in 2023.
  • Purchase of 5.7 acres on Farm Pond Lane for $750,000, to provide land for a new east Charlotte elementary school opening in 2023.

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Ann Doss Helms has covered education in the Charlotte area for over 20 years, first at The Charlotte Observer and then at WFAE. Reach her at ahelms@wfae.org or 704-926-3859.