July 27, 2006
Charlotte, NC - A majority of the members of the Board of County Commissioners is ready to approve authorizing a revised, smaller package of certificates of participation (COPs) to build, expand and renovate schools. As a result, at its next regular meeting on August 15, the Board of County Commissioners will approve authorizing $123.1 million in COPs to meet the short-term critical capital needs of CMS.
The seven Board members in support of this authorization are Parks Helms, Jennifer Roberts, Jim Puckett, Valerie Woodard, Dumont Clarke, Dan Bishop and Bill James. School Board Chairman Joe White has indicated that he believes the Board of Education also will support this proposal.
This funding is based upon the recommendations of the School Building Solutions Committee and will allow the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to move forward with all the projects recommended by this committee. However, four of these projects and two additional projects, Long Creek Elementary and South Mecklenburg High School, would receive funding for pre-construction/design work rather than full construction costs. These six projects would be evaluated for development using a lease/purchase method recently ratified by the N.C. General Assembly and awaiting the Governor’s signature. These six projects are:
- New Providence Road West Elementary
- New Hucks Road Elementary
- Idlewild Elementary
- Harding High School
- Long Creek Elementary
- South Mecklenburg High School
In the event that lease/purchase proves to be not feasible for any of these projects, the members of the Board supporting this proposal would also support the Board of Education requesting construction funding for these projects either through certificates of participation or placing these projects on the School Building Solutions Committee’s recommended bond referendum for November 2007.
This compromise package was developed at the initiative of and through the collaboration of County Manager Harry Jones and CMS Superintendent Peter Gorman. We are grateful to Mr. Jones and Dr. Gorman for their diligence and creativity in helping us forge this compromise that will get us back on track in building, expanding and renovating schools in Mecklenburg County.