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School Board Approves Plan that Includes Renovations at Olympic

Olympic High School(April 28, 2013) At its meeting last week, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board approved a 2013 Capital Improvement Plan that places a high priority on improvements to Olympic High School.

An addition and renovations to Olympic High School costing $8,964,000 is ranked second on the list of 18 projects in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' Three-Year Capital Improvement Proposal. The project includes construction of a 20-classroom addition, the comprehensive renovation of the auditorium, and improvements to the facility condition, which will bring the campus to baseline while eliminating portables.

The following is from A Closer Look at The Proposed 2013 Capital Improvement Program.

Additions and Renovations: Olympic HS ($8,300,000)

Olympic HS is a 90 classroom campus constructed in 1965, and currently houses 2260 students in five small schools. Olympic has not received any work to its educational buildings since 2000, and is well overdue for a comprehensive renovation. The first step in this process will be the construction of a classroom addition building to provide modern science classrooms and “swing space” for the work to occur within the main building. Updating of the auditorium will also be a focus. The classroom addition will increase the school capacity and reduce drastically the use of portables on the campus.

Olympic High School

The Board of Education is expected to present its 2013 bond request at the May 7 meeting of the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners. Before that time, staff will review the ranking criteria established by the county for bond projects and may recommend revised rankings or a different number of projects for the School Board's consideration.

The county is likely to place no more than $300,000,000 in bonds on the November ballot, and that amount would be divided between Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and Central Piedmont Community College. County staff will evaluate recommended school projects along with those from Central Piedmont Community College based on their Capital Ranking Process. Rankings resulting from that process may be different from the ranking by the school system. The 2013 bond would fund projects to be constructed through 2016. A new school bond is expected to be placed before the voters in 2016.

Improvements to Olympic High School appear to have a good chance of being included in a November 2013 bond issue, but nothing is certain at this point. The School Board must make its bond recommendation to the county, and the Board of County Commissioners must approve the final bond package.

Among the projects beyond the top 18 that will be considered for future bond issues is a replacement school for Steele Creek Elementary School.

Projects to be funded by bonds approved by voters in 2007 include construction of a new stadium and field house at Olympic, which has not begun, and the construction of a new elementary school near the Palisades, which is in progress. The new elementary school is expected to open in 2014.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools owns land that it plans to use for a future middle school (on Steele Creek Road south of Hamilton Road) and a future high school (next to the elementary school under construction), but neither of those have a high enough priority to appear on lists of projects being considered over the next few years.

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