by Tori Hamby
Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte officials have yet to determine the temporary location of a new Catholic high school set to open north of Charlotte this August.
According to Dan Dolan, project manager for Christ the King High School, the school is still in the process of closing on land for its permanent location, planned near the intersection of U.S 73 and Poplar Tent Road, and will announce the temporary location for the 2011-12 school year after Easter.
“We will definitely open in August,” Dolan said. “The question is where the temporary location will be.”
A vacant warehouse on U.S. 21 in Huntersville remains an option for its short-term location, Dolan said. In December, the Huntersville town board voted to reword zoning rules that would allow the school to temporarily operate in the warehouse at 13728 Statesville Road, which sits in an area normally reserved for large commercial operations with large truck traffic.
However, the resolution, which allows a school to take over a former business facility for up to five years while constructing or finding a permanent and appropriately zoned facility, prohibits the school from enrolling more than 300 students.
At the time of the change, planning board members expressed concerns whether school officials could handle traffic, particularly in the afternoon when parents have to wait for children in the rear of the building. Town officials should be prepared to impose fines if school traffic backs up onto U.S. 21, planning board officials said.
Dolan said fear of potential traffic issues is not the reason officials have yet to choose the U.S. 21 location as the temporary site.
“We are very interested in being a good neighbor and finding a place that is safe for our students to be in,” Dolan said. “I don’t think the traffic issues raised are anything that would be prohibitive. It’s just safe to say we are looking at what’s best for our kids and for our neighbors.”
Dolan did not give the names of any other potential locations because negotiations are ongoing.
Christ the King High School will open this August to about 150 freshmen and sophomores. The school will add eleventh and twelfth grades in 2012 and 2013 respectively, with the first class graduating in 2014, and is expected to enroll about 300 to 400 students once all grades are incorporated.