More space needed in CMS - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

More space needed in CMS

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Charlotte-Mecklenburg school (CMS) board wants money to build more schools to relieve overcrowding, create more magnets and more K-8 schools. It's all part of the district's 10-year Long Range Building plan.

The district needs about $400 million to make the improvements through a bond referendum.

Voters haven't passed a referendum for schools since 2007.

One school that would get a makeover is Druid Hills Academy.  Parents say more space is needed.

"We love to have more space," Druid Hills Academy Parent Lois Oglesby said. "Because they are getting more kids every year. So they are growing out of the space they have right now."

Druid Hills Academy used to serve just elementary school students, now it serves students in grades PreK to 8.  The school has gone from 400 students to next year the principal is expecting more than 700 students to enroll.

"We use every space we have available," Principal Alison Hiltz said. "Storage is a premium."

Hiltz says while she waits for renovations, she makes adjustments.

"Our media center usually has 3 or 4 groups going on at a time in there," the principal said. "The cafeteria is in use when we are not serving breakfast or lunch."

Druid Hills is slated to get a new gymnasium and more classroom space.  To make the improvements at Druid Hills Academy and some other K8 schools, it would cost more than $24 million. 

"It will make a big difference," the principal said. "That's what's in all about, the kids."

Administrators believe making room could also make room for academic achievement.  They believe more classrooms would mean smaller class sizes.

"To meet them at their individual needs," Hiltz said. "To be able to differentiate their instruction, so we can divide and conquer. We need the space so they can work in small groups."

County commissioners must approve having a bond referendum for November's ballot.  Taxpayers will be able to weigh on the proposed referendum April 9th.

Click here to read the building plan.

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