The Herald Weekly Celebrating 10 Years
by Staff Writer
The Herald Weekly made its first appearance as the Huntersville Herald in February 2002, landing in mailboxes and on newsstands – all 24 pages of it.
A decade later, the paper has grown in page count and scope – now covering the towns of Cornelius and Davidson – a reflection of the area’s rapid expansion during the past 10 years.
And we’ve watched the Lake Norman region change in nearly every aspect of lake life. When the Herald was founded, the three towns were just blossoming. Now, no longer just sleepy suburbs of the booming metropolis of Charlotte, Huntersville, Davidson and Cornelius have emerged as strong, sufficient towns of their own – thanks to a boom over the last 10 years of businesses, development and, most importantly, people.
U.S. Census Bureau figures show that the three towns have doubled in population in the past 10 years and are on paths to double again in 20 years.
That growth in population naturally led to a need for more schools. Hopewell High School opened in 2001 and, in 2010, William A. Hough High School opened to help with the overcrowding at North Mecklenburg High. In addition, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools also added Bailey Middle School, J.V. Washam Elementary, and mobile trailers to other area elementary and middle schools to house the influx.
The need has outpaced growth in schools and a number of other areas, especially roads. Anyone who’s been here long enough knows there’s no such thing as a quick trip up Interstate 77.
But along with the confusion and stress the population increase has put on the region, local government has worked to try and fix the problems. Undertakings such as the Red Line and the Davidson and Mooresville purchase of MI-Connection have the possibility to reshape the region.
But while government tackles those large, complex projects, a number of local organizations and businesses have stepped up to fill in the gaps, forever changing the region:
Central Piedmont Community College, which built its north campus here in 1990, expanded the campus around 2003 and is quickly becoming the school’s re-training center. That retraining is helping put Lake Norman residents back to work as manufacturing and electronics jobs come to the area.
Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville opened in 2004, eliminating the need for residents to travel to Charlotte for emergency room care. And the hospital has grown with the region, adding more beds and jobs in recent years. It will also be adding extra rooms for women’s support services, all within two additional floors the hospital plans to build.
In north Mecklenburg, residents no longer have to travel to south Charlotte for shopping. Thanks to the addition of the Birkdale Village shopping center and Northlake Mall – two of the largest shopping centers in the Lake Norman area and major providers of job and tax revenues for the region.
Visit Lake Norman stepped up to promote the area to outsiders. While Lake Norman has become a popular place to relocate a business to retire, or for a family looking for better schools and safer streets, Visit Lake Norman has worked very hard to make the region a tourism destination. And they’ve had some big successes attracting a number of major tournaments.
While all of this growth happened, the three towns have managed to maintain their small-town feel, which was evident in the 2011 construction of the Veterans Memorial in Cornelius – a complete, community-wide initiative to honor area residents who’ve served our country. The process has inspired Huntersville and Davidson to explore constructing their own memorials.
Much has changed since the Herald Weekly’s first issue. And the newspaper has covered it all.
In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we’ll revisit some of these stories, catch up with old friends and remind readers how things used to be.