Art classes at Charlotte Christian School were in high demand this fall, as the school opened its new Hendrick Center for Arts and Science – complete with new art studios in its lower level.
Less than a year after breaking ground on the new building, the school’s student body gathered behind it as school officials and donors officially dedicated the 20,000-square-foot building.
The facility houses technology labs, art and music classrooms, science classrooms and a library and administrative offices for the lower school.
“The kids are very excited to have classes in the new building,” said Barry Giller, Charlotte Christian’s head of school. “I think it’s just given them excitement and encouragement that we’re continuing to look for ways to improve the school.”
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The Hendrick Center is a first for the school and for its lead donors, Linda and Rick Hendrick, owners of the Hendrick Motorsports team.
It is the only building on campus where students in all grades take classes, allowing older and younger students to mingle. The school has 1,036 students enrolled this year.
The building also is the first that Rick and Linda Hendrick have allowed to use their name.
An automotive building at Central Piedmont Community College is named after Rick Hendrick’s father, Joe Hendrick, and the pediatric intensive care unit at Levine Children’s Hospital bears their late son Ricky Hendrick’s name.
The Hendrick family has long had ties to Charlotte Christian. Nieces – the late Kimberly and Jennifer Hendrick – graduated from that school, and now three grandchildren attend the school.
“I just can’t say enough about the teachers and the Christian-based education they get,” Rick Hendrick said. “We love to see them have all the tools that they need to go to college and move on.”
The building opened with the 2014-15 school year, replacing the school’s mobile classrooms. Construction was overseen by Rodgers Builders, and the center was designed by project architect David Bellamy of LS3P.
Bellamy said he met many times with staff who would be teaching in the building as he drew up the designs. The building is filled with artistic details, such as a carpet that looks like tree roots in a room below the lower school library, which has the trunk of a Ponderosa pine running from floor to ceiling.
The Hendrick Center has been equipped with new iMac desktop computers for lower-school students, iPad minis for the new lower-school STEM lab and iPads for teachers to use in the classroom.
The total cost of the project, which includes renovating the school’s parking and adding 65 parking spaces, was about $6.2 million.