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Vote to set date for Myers Park gym

For more than a decade, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials have talked of the need for a new gym at Myers Park High School.

On Tuesday, the school board is expected to vote on a construction start date, with a projected completion date of August 2014. Work will begin on June 16, about a week after graduation.

The cost is projected at $7.2 million, using 2002 and 2007 bond money.

Built in 1951, the gym holds only 650 of the school’s 2,800 students. The new, two-story gym will have a seating capacity of about 1,700 for athletic events, officials said.

The old gym will remain in use for physical education, officials have said. The two buildings will share a single lobby.

A board vote is also expected Tuesday on Superintendent Heath Morrison’s $1.2 billion budget plan for 2013-14. The money comes from the state, county and federal governments, and the outlook for all three remains uncertain.

A key part of Morrison’s plan is a request for almost $366 million from Mecklenburg County, a $28.5 million increase over the current year. County commissioners vote on their budget in June.

Morrison is proposing almost $20 million in new initiatives, including new technology and magnet programs.

The district also faces rising costs and a projected increase in enrollment.

Morrison’s proposal calls for 1 percent raises for the district’s 18,000-plus employees.

Among the challenges the district faces is a proposed budget from Gov. Pat McCrory that would eliminate about 3,000 teacher-assistant jobs statewide, a move McCrory’s staff says would be offset by adding teachers.

Ann Doss Helms contributed.

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