2015 calendar, construction get CMS board approval

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board looked ahead to August 2015 at Tuesday’s meeting, approving a 2015-16 calendar and two school construction projects.

The district recently presented two options for the calendar to families and employees and asked their preference. The option with a two-week winter break and a full week at Easter was more popular and won unanimous board approval.

The board also approved major renovation projects, at Hawthorne High and Newell Elementary.

Hawthorne is shifting from an alternative school to an opt-in academy of health sciences. It will be located temporarily at Derita school next year while the Hawthorne school is renovated. The $13.2 million contract with Balfour Beatty Construction calls for the building to be ready in August 2015.

The board also approved a $14.5 million contract with New Atlantic Contracting Inc. to build a new school on the site of Newell Elementary, with the new building ready to occupy in August 2015. Both projects will be paid for with bonds approved by voters in 2007.

Superintendent Heath Morrison also announced the appointment of two principals. Larenda Denien, an assistant principal at Walter G. Byers School, will lead Idlewild Elementary. Jaime Tecza, a former CMS administrator who now works for Cabarrus County Schools, will return as principal of University Park Elementary.