June 21, 2006
Charlotte, NC – More than seven months after voters rejected a school bond referendum, a citizen committee is preparing to make recommendations on a new school construction package. The recommendations come after nearly four months of work, weekly meetings, school visits and public forums.
The School Building Solutions Committee is scheduled to present its recommendations at a joint meeting of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education on Tuesday, June 27 at 2 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Meeting Chamber of the Government Center, 600 East Fourth Street, Charlotte. It will be televised live on the Government Channel, Time-Warner cable channel 16.
The final recommendations will be approved at the School Building Solutions Committee meeting on June 23 at noon. The Committee’s tentative recommendations include asking the Board of County Commissioners to provide CMS with $150 million to address immediate critical building needs for growth and renovation. These funds would be financed through Certificates of Participation (COPs). The Committee also tentatively recommends a bond referendum for up to $400 million be placed on the November 2007 ballot for consideration by voters. In addition, the time between now and November 2007 would be used to consider new long-term strategies that would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of school construction.
The 35-member School Building Solutions Committee, chaired by former N.C. Governor Jim Martin, has been working to craft a school capital package that will be supported by the community. The Board of County Commissioners formed the committee after voters rejected the November 2005 school bond referendum of $427 million. Committee members were appointed by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, the seven mayors in Mecklenburg County, and Martin.