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CPCC’s Harris Campus works toward expansion

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    To learn more about the requested rezoning: bit.ly/16EFkiD.



Central Piedmont Community College wants to rezone nearly 14 acres, which would allow it to nearly triple the amount of building space on the Harris campus.

CPCC will develop building plans for the space during the next two years, and probably wouldn’t receive funding for at least three years, said Kathy Drumm, CPCC executive vice president.

But she noted the space could allow current Harris Campus programs to grow and provide buildings for new or expanding programs as well.

Located on the south side of Morris Field Drive – off Billy Graham Parkway, near Charlotte Douglas International Airport – the vacant property is currently zoned single-family/residential.

CPCC wants it changed to institutional, conditional, with five-year vested rights, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department’s website. That means the development standards and regulations in place at the time of the rezoning will apply for the next five years, said planner Sonja Sanders.

Any development after that would have to comply with the current practices.

If the Charlotte City Council approves the rezoning in September, the proposed rezoning could accommodate an additional 170,000 square feet of building space.

The Harris Campus currently consists of approximately 100,000 square feet in two buildings that house the baking and pastry arts program, dental assisting, early childhood education and fire protection technology, as well as general classrooms.

School officials said that as of spring 2013, the campus serves about 4,500 students per year.

Drumm said the campus also hosts nondegree programs, including Pathways to Employment; corporate and job training/development and job and career enhancement and has approximately 25,000 square feet of conference space.

There’s been no opposition to the proposed project from the surrounding community, Drumm said, noting the school has been a neighbor to the residential area for years.

“We have support of our neighbors in the area and the community that backs up to the property,” she said.

There were no protest petitions filed with the rezoning request, according to the Planning Department website.

According to minutes from the June 11 public meeting, which lasted about 45 minutes, several attendees who said they were CPCC alumni said they believed the project would be good for the surrounding neighborhood.

Though the Harris Campus expansion isn’t part of CPCC’s list of capital projects through 2017, Drumm said, the timing was right to secure the land.

Details of what the expanded facility space will include will be discussed when long-range plans are formulated in the next two years, she said.

Sanders said in an email that planning staff and the zoning committee recommend approving the request.

The City Council could vote on the rezoning at its Sept. 16 meeting.

Trenda: 704-358-5089; Twitter: @htrenda
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