Education

CMS buys land for new south Charlotte elementary. But some parents want more help.

Providence Spring parent discusses overcrowding issues at school

Molly Reed, a parent at Providence Spring discussed the safety concerns and inefficiencies facing an overcrowded school.
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Molly Reed, a parent at Providence Spring discussed the safety concerns and inefficiencies facing an overcrowded school.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board on Tuesday approved a $13.2 million land deal that clears the way for a new southern elementary school across the street from Ardrey Kell High.

The purchase of almost 37 acres in one of the county’s fast-growing areas is part of the $922 million school bond package that voters approved in 2017. The new school, scheduled to open in 2023, would pull students from Elon Park, Hawk Ridge and Polo Ridge elementary schools, according to bond plans presented before the vote.

While overall enrollment in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has been flat for the last couple of years, growth remains strong in parts of the county. Ardrey Kell HIgh, with about 3,300 students, is North Carolina’s second-largest high school, with Myers Park High in first place.

In fact, parents from nearby Providence Spring Elementary spoke at Tuesday’s board meeting, asking the district to find a way to add more space at their school. With almost 1,000 students the school is far past capacity, the parents said, and the 2017 bond package doesn’t provide any relief.

“It really is a crisis,” parent Molly Reed said.

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Ann Doss Helms has covered education for the Observer since 2002, long enough to watch a generation of kids go from preK to college. She is a repeat winner of the North Carolina Press Association’s education reporting award.
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