Charter schools mark the end of campus expansions
by Staff Writer
Two local charter high school campuses will be completed in time for the 2013-14 school year.
Lake Norman Charter School in Huntersville and Community School of Davidson, are adding to their high school campuses – capping years of planning and construction since the schools’ inceptions.
CSD will break ground on the refurbishment of an existing wing of its building on Armour Street. The 30,000-square-foot wing is currently vacant, said the school’s Director of Business Management and Personnel Kevin Green. It will include a 200-seat black- box theater, dance and music classrooms, as well as general classroom space.
“I keep saying that this is going to be the last phase (of construction) after every phase we complete, but this is the last one we have planned,” Green said.
The next school year will mark the first year that the school will serve high school seniors. CSD opened in 2001, adding a grade – and subsequently increasing enrollment – each year. The high school campus opened three years ago.
The arts wing refurbishment will help the school accommodate its last enrollment boost, Green said. For now, the theater department uses a makeshift stage in the school’s common area, as well as the Davidson Community Players’ Armour Street Theater, to stage productions.
“This (project) caps not only our construction phase, but also caps our growth,” he said, adding that the project will cost a little more than $1 million.
The school will hold a public groundbreaking ceremony – featuring student performances, a food truck rally and school tours – Nov. 16 on the high school campus, 404 Armour St., Davidson. School officials hope most of the construction will be completed in time to stage end-of-the-year performances in May.
Green said sponsorship opportunities are available through the school to secure naming rights for the new wing’s room.
Lake Norman Charter kicked off construction of its $2.5 million building addition Oct. 12 with its own groundbreaking ceremony. The project will include a multi-purpose room where about 600 students can eat lunch at one time and watch presentations, Shannon Stein, managing director, said. The space will also include two new art rooms and administrative space.
A section of the building used for eating will be refurbished into more classroom space and the mobile classrooms that house an administrative office will be removed.
“This is very exciting for us,” Stein said. “This is it – after this we are 100 percent done.”
Construction on the high school began four years ago with a gym and a two-story classroom building. The high school opened with 450 students. With the additions, the school is at its comfortable limit.
“We are currently at 1,600 students, and we will stay at 1,600 students,” Stein said.