CMS opens two new schools, three replacement schools for thousands of students

CMS opened two new schools that were funded by the 2017 bond.
Class is in session for more than 141,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students.
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 6:21 AM EDT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Thousands of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students are kicking off their first day of school inside new buildings.

Related: Buses ready to roll as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students head back to class

Shamrock Gardens Elementary, Landsdowne Elementary, and West Charlotte High School reopened their doors Monday morning.

The new Shamrock Gardens Elementary School has 45 classrooms and a larger cafeteria and 21st-century learning environments designed with an updated security vestibule, green spaces, and a tiered reading nook. The new building for West Charlotte High School has 100 classrooms and it is one building versus the older open campus.

Shamrock Gardens Elementary, Landsdowne Elementary, and West Charlotte High School reopened their doors Monday morning.

New principal Orlando Robinson says they still have some teacher vacancies but have several guest teachers ready to fill in.

“The guest teacher initiative for us has been a lifesaver. We do have four clear vacancies at West Charlotte but we have several qualified guest teachers to fill in so we’re really ready for our scholars for the first day of school,” Robinson said.

CMS also opened two brand new schools - Mint Hill Elementary and Palisades High School.

Mint Hill Elementary School has 45 classrooms and was funded by the 2017 bond as a relief school for Bain, Lebanon Road, Piney Grove, Crown Point, and possibly Matthews Elementary Schools. CMS staff say the projected enrollment is 560 students.

Palisades High School was also made possible thanks to the 2017 bond and will relieve overcrowding at Olympic and Harding University high schools.

District officials expect 1,500 students to enroll there this year.

“We have students coming from at least 19 different schools. We’ve had a lot of interest in students that have previously been at charter schools or private schools. We are really excited to have these families and these students coming to us to create Palisades High School this year,” said Palisades High School Principal Erik Olejarczyk.

Construction started in 2020 and the new building has 100 classrooms and will serve at least 1,500 ninth- through eleventh-grade students this school year.

“I feel really good about the staff members that we have. I’m really excited to receive the students and this year is about laying out the foundation so that we can create the legacy of excellence that will last as long as the school stands,” Olejarczyk said.

Olejarczyk says he looks forward to building a strong academic and athletic legacy with his students and staff.

“We want to be a premier school not only in Charlotte, not only in North Carolina but across the counter as well. We want to be rooted in excellence in every facet of our being,” he said.