EducationNews & Opinion

What’s in the CMS Bond Referendum?

A look at what's planned with potential funding

An overview of a planned school facility in the CMS bonds package
A look at the plan for a new facility that will aim to ease
overcrowding at Community House Middle School, Jay M. Robinson MS
and Rea Farms STEAM in south Charlotte, if the new CMS bond package is approved by voters. (Rendering courtesy of CMS)

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) hosted a designer’s showcase at South Mecklenburg High School on Thursday, featuring five proposed projects in the $2.5-billion school bond referendum that is currently on the ballot in Mecklenburg County, with early voting having kicked off on Oct. 19

Learn more: Mecklenburg County Election Guide 2023

The CMS Board of Education (BOE) adopted the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) in late February and the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners authorized a general obligation bond referendum in May.

Should the bond be approved in the current election, which wraps up on Nov. 7, the referendum will allow Mecklenburg County to finance specific projects at a low-interest rate.

Of the 30 projects the CMS bond would fund, five projects and design teams were featured in Thursday’s event: 

North Mecklenburg High School

North Meck High School has $228,464,171 earmarked in the bond that will go toward replacing and upgrading existing facilities and implementing a comprehensive athletics package. The package will support the school’s athletic programs by creating a new soccer/practice field, tennis courts, softball field, baseball field and artificial turf infield. 

South Mecklenburg High School

South Meck High School’s $127,909,253 bond package will include repairing the existing football stadium, baseball, soccer, tennis and softball fields as part of its comprehensive athletics package. The project will also improve existing classrooms and develop additional buildings.

Second Ward 

The New Second Ward Medical & Technology High School will use its $176,810,460 bond to relocate the existing program at Hawthorne High School to the new magnet high school at Second Ward’s former Metro site. The new facility will specialize in medical and technological education, carrying on the legacy of one of Charlotte’s most historic educational institutions

Cotswold/Chantilly Montessori/Billingsville Elementary Schools

Cotswold and Billingsville elementary schools will temporarily combine locations at Billingsville with its $80,555,856 funding. The project will demolish Chantilly Montessori Elementary and relocate the PK-6 program to Billingsville.

Park Road Montessori/Sedgefield/Dilworth Elementary Schools

With its $89,491,970 bond, Park Road Montessori will relocate its PK-6 program to the converted Sedgefield Elementary and replace Park Road Montessori with a 45-classroom school for Dilworth paired schools. The previous Dilworth Elementary will be repurposed as a middle school magnet.


The remaining planned projects funded by the bond referendum are as follows: 

Location: Albemarle Road Middle School

Project: Onsite replacement with 54-classroom baseline facility

Cost: $97,732,036


Location: East Mecklenburg High School

Project: Final phases of ongoing work, including replacement of balance of campus buildings; comprehensive athletics package

Cost: $201,339,353


Location: Montessori Secondary at Marie G. Davis

Project: Convert to 7-12 Montessori to replace use at J.T. Williams and expand programs; complete renovations at J.T. Williams for use by alternative education programs

Cost: $9,174,783


Location: Sedgefield Elementary School

Project: Relocate Montessori PK-6 program to converted Sedgefield ES; replace primary building with 45-classroom school for Dilworth-paired schools; repurpose Dilworth for a middle school magnet

Cost: Unlisted


Location: Cochrane Collegiate Academy/iMeck (design) 

Project: Onsite replacement with 54-classroom baseline facility; relocate 9-12 iMeck program to Garinger High School

Cost: $7,506,657


Location: Garinger High School

Project: Next phase of ongoing work, including new kitchen/cafeteria, specialty classrooms, gym and athletic facilities; renovate and repurpose existing kitchen/cafeteria

Cost: $54,905,692


Location: J.T. Williams (design) 

Project: Final phase of work to support alternative education use

Cost: $1,647,753


Location: Villa Heights Elementary School (design) 

Project: 45-classroom baseline school to be constructed on the Hawthorne site; demolish existing Villa Heights

Cost: $6,247,870


Location: Cornelius Elementary School

Project: Onsite replacement with 45-classroom baseline facility

Cost: $76,471,997


Location: Huntersville Elementary School

Project: Onsite replacement with 45-classroom baseline facility

Cost: $66,235,904


Location: Stumptown Road Middle School (working title) 

Project: Baseline 54-classroom facility at Stumptown Road to relieve Bailey Road Middle School, Davidson K-8, and J.M. Alexander Middle School

Cost: $92,371,482


Location: Allenbrook Elementary School

Project: Offsite replacement at Freedom Driving Range; demolish existing facility

Cost: $74,244,220


Location: Berryhill School

Project: Offsite replacement; demolish building

Cost: $104,286,451


Location: Coulwood STEM Academy

Project: Onsite replacement with 54-classroom baseline facility; STEM program to remain

Cost: $92,706,982


Location: Harding University High School

Project: Final phases of work, to include comprehensive athletics package and balance of campus replacement

Cost: $202,879,499


Location: West Regional Athletic Complex (design) 

Project: New multi-sport regional athletic competition complex with gymnasium, natatorium, stadium, fields, ancillary spaces

Cost: $8,999,791


Location: Wilson STEM Academy

Project: Onsite replacement with 54-classroom baseline facility

Cost: $92,471,565


Location: E.E. Waddell High School (design) 

Project: Building addition to support program(s)

Cost: $1,563,349


Location: Matthews Elementary School

Project: Replacement with 45-classroom baseline facility

Cost: $79,874,929


Location: South Charlotte Middle School (working title)

Project: Baseline 54-classroom facility to relieve Community House Middle School, Jay M. Robinson Middle School and Rea Farms STEAM K-8

Cost: $101,089,262


Location: South Charlotte Middle School (design) 

Project: Onsite replacement with 54-classroom baseline facility

Cost: $7,741,099


Location: Beverly Woods Elementary School

Project: Onsite replacement with 45-classroom baseline school

Cost: $71,237,700


Location: Quail Hollow Middle School

Project: 54-classroom baseline facility on Highway 160 to relieve Southwest and Kennedy middle schools

Cost: $98,436,153


Location: Steele Creek Elementary School

Project: Onsite replacement with 45-classroom baseline facility

Cost: $80,830,528


Location: Northwest School of the Arts/First Ward

Project: Final phase of work, to include new specialty classroom space and 9-12 conversion/expansion; renovate First Ward as full magnet 6-8.

Cost: $93,654,147


Location: University Park Arts

Project: Onsite replacement with 39-classroom baseline facility with arts-specific spaces to support program

Cost: $73,119,088

For a more detailed look at each proposal, visit CMS’s resource page.


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