South Charlotte

2 schools get new buildings this year

Big changes are coming this year for two elementary schools in the south Charlotte area.

Last month, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education awarded an $11.57 million bid to Beam Construction to build a new school that will replace the current Pineville Elementary School.

The new school, a clone of Stoney Creek Elementary School in the University area, will be built next to the existing school. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Assistant Superintendent Guy Chamberlain says construction should start sometime in the next few months, with the new school open for students at the beginning of the 2013 school year.

Later this month, Chamberlain says, the school board is scheduled to open bids and award a contract for construction of a new Bain Elementary School in Mint Hill.

That new school, a clone of River Gate Elementary near Carowinds, also will be built next to the current school, with construction expected to start in the next few months. Bain students will move into their new school at the beginning of 2013.

Chamberlain says both schools originally were slated for extensive renovations until it was determined that replacement schools could be built for about the same amount.

Once construction is complete, the current Pineville Elementary School will be torn down and athletic fields built in its place.

At least one of the buildings at Bain Elementary will be torn down; another, circa 1920s, is expected to remain and be renovated by the town as a historical structure. The newest building at Bain, circa 1970s, will remain to house additional students.

Funding for the two school projects comes from county bond money approved by voters in 2007.

Other projects in the area on the 2007 referendum include an $8.5 million replacement of Olympic High School's stadium and an $11.7 million replacement of the gymnasium and construction of an administrative building at Independence High School.

Chamberlain says that while Independence was No. 13 on the CMS construction priority list, he isn't sure how it fared when it got to county project prioritization.

The Olympic project is on hold, but Chamberlain said he hopes to meet with county finance staff later this spring to discuss those projects and more, and to get a better idea of the amount of capital funding the school system can expect for the remainder of the year.