Davidson Day discusses Mooresville expansion
by Staff Writer
by Justin Vick
MOORESVILLE – Davidson Day School is on pace to raise $3 million by the end of summer toward the construction of a 65-acre campus on Faith Road, Head of School Bonnie Cotter announced Monday, April 30.
Davidson Day’s expansion will bring the school’s seventh through 12th grades to Mooresville. The move will allow the private school to serve 500 students in seventh through 12th grades. The school has 510 students, from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, already enrolled at its 15-acre campus on Jetton Street in Davidson. In 2006, the school enrolled 200 students.
“We are busting out at the seams, so the sooner we can do this the better,” Cotter said. “Everything is going to be dependent on how successful and how quickly we can raise the capital dollars to make that happen.”
The school hopes to kick off the public phase of its capital campaign in the fall. Leaders hope to raise another $2 million to $3 million to begin construction.
Establishing the new campus secures Davidson Day’s place as the premier independent school at the lake, said Richard Gordon, chairman of the school’s board of trustees.
The private school began in 1999 as Acclaim Academy, serving students in preschool through eighth grade. The school became Davidson Day in 2001 and began adding high school grades in 2005.
Cotter credited the school’s growth to parents who not only send their children to Davidson Day, but also show support by donating to its endowment.
With seventh through 12th grades moving to Mooresville, the existing 15-acre Davidson campus will be reconfigured to house larger hands-on learning labs, Cotter said.
School leaders anticipate combined enrollment for both campuses to surpass 1,000 students.
Partnerships could cut costs. Faith Road Enterprises LLC, a group of investors with ties to the school, donated 40 acres of a 206-acre parcel to Davidson Day. The school will have access to another 25 acres for future development.
“Because of the generosity and forward thinking of the Faith Road group, the school is now capable of just being able to focus on the bricks and mortar of the campus,” said Eric Brown, chairman of Davidson Day’s capital campaign. “To be able to have the land donated makes it much easier for us.”
Cotter estimates a $40 million price tag to complete the master plan, which calls for a science and math center, an arts and humanities center, science and technology labs, a theater and athletic fields.
That amount could be raised faster through partnerships, Cotter said.