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Dore Academy site
Floodplain acquisition, environmental restoration and water quality improvements

What's new? 

 Demolition of buildings  Completed October 2013         
 Design of detention basin         Completed December 2013
 Detention basin construction      Completed July 2014
 Plant trees on site  Planned for fall 2014


Problems:
#1 The private school next to Briar Creek at 1727 Providence Road repeatedly flooded during routine storms.
#2 Briar Creek is impaired because of pollution.

Solution Part 1: To reduce flood losses, Storm Water Services bought the Dore Academy property in 2011 through a voluntary buyout. The buildings were torn down and the floodplain is being returned to open space.

Solution Part 2: A detention basin was added to the site. This will improve water quality in Briar Creek and temporarily hold some excess runoff from Providence Road during small storm events.

#1 - The Buyout
Dore Academy opened its doors in 1978. Built in the floodplain along Briar Creek, the school was often threatened by floodwater. Because flooding is a natural occurrence during heavy rain, the school and local government had no way to stop the creek from overflowing its banks. 
Dore Academy agreed the best option was to move. In 2011, Storm Water Services obtained a federal Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant to help buy the property. More about local floodplain buyouts.

In 2012, the school moved to a new location near the Billy Graham Parkway in west Charlotte and changed its name to the John Crosland School.

The school and an administrative building were demolished in 2013. Hard surfaces such as parking lots and an outdoor basketball court were removed. Construction materials like concrete, asphalt and glass were recycled.

Police with guns train outside an empty building
Before demolition, Dore Academy buildings
were used for training by police SWAT teams


#2 - Environmental restoration
Storm Water Services created a dry detention basin on the former Dore property. The small pond will often be dry. But it temporarily holds and cleans storm water runoff coming from one-half mile of Providence Road. Phrased another way, storm water runoff from five acres of the street's hard surface will be piped into the detention pond, then slowly released into Briar Creek.

Vacant school building with backhoe
Photo taken before demolition. A storm
water detention basin has been added to the site.

Storm water runoff from roads often contains contaminants from brake dust, oil and gas drippings, antifreeze, excess fertilizer and trash. In the detention pond, contaminants settle to the bottom. The cleaner water is slowly released into the creek.

Reducing the surge of water into the creek decreases bank erosion. That means less sediment in the water, making it healthier for aquatic life.

More about Best Management Practices to treat storm water.
Around the detention basin, specially-chosen plants will be added to the open space this fall, returning the floodplain to a more natural and beneficial state.

Information sheet about water quality project on Dore site - May 2014

Site after buildings were torn down
  Dore Academy site after school buildings
                    were torn down

Buyout and demolition cost:
    $1.525 million

Buyout and demolition funding sources:                                                 
    Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): $1,143,750 or 75%    
    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services fees: $381,250 or 25%

Storm water dry detention basin construction cost (estimated):
    $150,000

Detention basin funding source:
    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services

Project schedule: June 2011 through November 2014
    Purchase of Dore Academy property: June 2011
    Demolition of buildings: summer and fall 2013
    Design of restoration project: May through December 2013
         Contractor: US Infrastructure of Carolina, Inc.
    Construction of detention pond and restoration of floodplain: May through November 2014
         Contractor: Eagle Wood, Inc.  

Partners in this project:
    FEMA, NC Department of Transportation, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Department

Restoration project manager:
    David Woodie, P.E.
    
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services
    704-336-3873