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Peter Gorman Encourages Steele Creek Residents to Speak Out

(October 1, 2006) Several members of the Steele Creek Residents Association met with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Dr. Peter Gorman on September 29 to discuss issues involving schools in Steele Creek, including growth and the positive turnaround at Olympic High School.

Dr. Gorman plans to present his plan for school construction and renovations to the Board of Education at its November 14th meeting. In the past, expenditures have been about 60-65% new construction and 35-40% renovations. His plan will put a higher priority on new construction to help alleviate the backlog for needed schools.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg is gaining 4,500 or more new students each year. To meet that need, the school system needs to add two elementary, one middle, and one high school each year.

Following his presentation of the plan to the School Board, there will be a series of six public meetings, one in each board district. Steele Creek is in District 2, which is represented by Vilma Leake. See Map. Opinions expressed at these public meetings will be considered when the Board reviews the plan in January and adopts a final plan in February. The plan will include proposals for a bond referendum in November 2007.

He encouraged supporters of Steele Creek schools to be proactive and attend all the meetings so that our community will be known.

The population of Steele Creek has increased by about 80% since 2000 according to Charlotte's Neighborhood Quality of Life Study, Steele Creek Elementary School is the most crowded school in the area with enrollment at about twice its capacity. Relief was expected to happen in 2009 when a new elementary school in the Berewick community was scheduled to open. When the school bond failed last fall, the funding source for that school's construction dried up.

Last year Lake Wylie Elementary School was at 200% capacity. The opening of the new Winget Park Elementary School last fall provided relief for Lake Wylie, but with new housing continuing to be built in Steele Creek, expect the trailers to start rolling in any time.

Contact Vilma Leake at Vilma.Leake@cms.k12.nc.us. Contact information for the remaining School Board members is on the Board of Education Home Page.

Map created from Mecklenburg County, NC E-Mapper.

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