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New School Boundaries Offer Relief to Lake Wylie; Less to Steele Creek

(September 3, 2005) On Thursday, September 1, Lake Wylie Elementary School had 1480 enrolled students, which places the school at about 200% of capacity. Relief will come next August with the opening of the new elementary school adjacent to Winget Park on Winget Road.

Based on scenarios presented by Susan Agruso and Scott McCully of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools at a community meeting Thursday night, Lake Wylie students who live west of Steele Creek Road and in residential areas along Hamilton Road will be reassigned to the new school next year. (See MAP.)

The new Winget Park school will be at or below its capacity of 710 when it opens. However, much new residential construction is going on within its proposed attendance boundary, and it too will be overcrowded within a few years.

Two additional elementary schools are planned for the southwest corner of the county, one at The Palisades off of Highway 49 near Red Fez Club Road and the other at the corner of Hamilton Road and Smith Road. The first of these should open in 2011, assuming construction funding is available.

Steele Creek Elementary School had 1142 students on September 1, or about 185% capacity. It will not receive major relief until another new school on Dixie River Road is expected to open in 2009.

That new school will be located on the north side of the new Berewick development, adjacent to the future Berewick District Park. New houses are now going up in Berewick, which eventually will contain over 2,8000 residences, Beginning in 2006 and until the new elementary school opens in 2009, elementary school students living in Berewick will be assigned to Berryhill Elementary School.

To relieve overcrowding at Steele Creek Elementary School, school planners are proposing to assign some students temporarily to the Lake Wylie or new Winget Park Elementary Schools beginning in 2006. When the new Dixie River Road School opens in 2009, students within the temporary boundaries will go either to Steele Creek or the new school.

Both scenarios presented by school planning staff would place the area west of Steele Creek Road and north of Westinghouse Boulevard in the new Winget Park boundary until 2009. This area includes Stowe Creek, Wildwood, and Steele Creek subdivisions.

The second scenario moves students living in the apartments east of S. Tryon Street across from Whitehall as well as those in the new Ayrsley development to Lake Wylie until 2009.

But even with removing these two areas outside the Steele Creek boundary, the school will likely be over 160% capacity when it opens next year.

In order to relieve crowding at Steele Creek even further, school planners will look at moving even more students temporarily to the new Winget Park school. They will avoid splitting neighborhoods. The neighborhoods closest to the proposed boundary, which make them likely candidates for addition into the new Winget Park school boundary, are Braddock Green-Steele Oaks and Cedarbrook.

Some parents suggested placing students at other schools, such as Nations Ford or Berryhill, but those schools are over capacity as well.

Regardless of what boundaries are adopted, rising 5th graders at Lake Wylie and Steele Creek schools likely will have the option of remaining at those schools in 2006.

Dr. Agruso and her staff plan to present their recommendations to the School Board at its meeting on September 27. Based on comments from parents at the community meeting, the recommendations are likely to resemble Scenario 2 below.

Back to TOP.

Maps showing two proposed scenarios for attendance boundaries for the new Winget Park Elementary School have been posted on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools web site.

Also posted are tables showing projected enrollment and demographic breakdowns for the three schools for each of the two scenarios. However, these use 2004 enrollments and the numbers are lower than what they likely will be in 2006.

View information on these and other student assignment issues on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools web site at www.cms.k12.nc.us. Click on the "Comprehensive Review of Student Assignment" link, or view the maps directly here:

Proposed Winget Park Elementary Boundary - Scenario 1
Proposed Winget Park Elementary Boundary - Scenario 2

Also posted are proposed boundary scenarios for 2009 when the new Dixie River Road Elementary School is expected to open. However, the second scenario places neighborhoods south of Brown-Grier Road across from Steele Creek Elementary School in the new Dixie River Road boundary, which is not realistic. New boundaries for 2009 will be presented for review and consideration before the new school opens based on conditions existing at that time.

Note that the new Dixie River Road Elementary School currently is not funded. If the school bond referendum on the November ballot does not pass, the school likely will not be built by 2009.

"New Winget Park Elementary School" and "New Dixie River Road Elementary School" are the working names for the new schools and are being used for planning purposes only. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board will adopt a permanent name for the new Winget Park school this spring based on recommendations from the community. The new Dixie River Road School will be named similarly soon before its opening.

Summary of issues:

Where should the permanent attendance boundary between Lake Wylie and new Winget Park Elementary Schools go?

The likely recommendation will be for the boundary to follow Steele Creek Road between Westinghouse Boulevard and York Road (Highway 49). South of York Road the boundary will go east, following property lines that will place residential neighborhoods along Choate Circle and Smith Road in the Lake Wylie zone and residential neighborhoods along Hamilton Road in the new Winget Park zone.

Should students within the current Steele Creek Elementary School boundary be assigned to either Lake Wylie or the new Winget Park school beginning in 2006, knowing that they likely will be moved again in 2009 when the new Dixie River Road school is expected to open?

Due to crowding at Steele Creek, relief next year is needed. The boundary proposed on the Scenario 2 map will do this. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools staff will review this scenario further and may recommend transferring even more students from Steele Creek to new Winget Park when they make their presentation to the School Board on September 27.

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