Mecklenburg County High School Expansion
Community School of Davidson Selects McMillan Construction as General Contractor for New 22,000 s.f. Performing & Visual Arts Wing and 200-Seat BlackBox Theatre; Completion Scheduled for June 2013
Davidson, NC – The Community School of Davidson, a North Carolina public charter high school located in North Mecklenburg County, has selected McMillan Construction Management as General Contractor for its Phase II renovation and expansion project, creating a brand new 22,000 square foot Performing and Visual Arts Wing and 200-seat BlackBox Theatre, that will also provide valuable resources to the surrounding Davidson-area community.
McMillan Construction, a general contracting firm owned by Principal Michael McMillan and based in Cornelius, specializes in light commercial additions and upfits as well as custom residential construction. The Phase II project is McMillan Construction’s second contract with the Community School of Davidson, that just opened its High School doors in 2010 with 102 9th-grade students and after growing one new class per year, now has a K-11 total enrollment of 1,187 students and a junior class that will soon become the school’s first graduating senior class in 2014.
In July 2012, McMillan Construction finished the school’s first major renovation of 7,000 square feet, which provided key language arts and media classrooms, a gymnasium, administrative and guidance counselor offices and a central commons area for community and student body activities. When completed, the new Wing will bring the school’s total square footage to 102,000.
For Phase II, McMillan Construction is converting attached storage warehouse space into one of the area’s finest Performing and Fine Arts academic centers. The new spacious wing will enable the high school’s music and arts programs to meet student demand, which includes study in orchestra, chorus, dance, drama and woodworking. The new Wing will also include a centralized student commons area for study and various events.
According to Kevin Green, Director of Business Management and Personnel, the Community School of Davidson’s total renovation project was jumpstarted by a private, anonymous donation, and will cost approximately $1.4 million. A school-wide fundraising project called the Bright Future Campaign is now underway to raise additional money for the much-needed interior systems and furnishings — skylights for the study areas, dance studio flooring, theater light and sound systems, and music room furniture, storage systems and instruments. The school is also offering naming rights to the BlackBox Theatre and various other studios. Already, a baby grand piano has been donated to CSD.
McMillan Construction expects the Phase II renovation to be completed by June of 2013, one year prior to the first senior graduation.
On Friday, Nov. 16, a special ribbon-cutting and “sneak preview” event was held at the school for students, parents and faculty. Innovative tours of the 22,000 s.f. space was conducted by students and faculty, who had painted actual to-scale “blueprints” of the floor plan on the concrete floors and re-enacted informally each classroom’s future study programs of music, dance and theater.
Among public charter schools in North Carolina, the Community School of Davidson has earned the distinction as an Honor School of Excellence and is a recognized pioneer in the charter school movement in Mecklenburg County and North Carolina.
As CSD Executive Director Joy Warner has explained, “Our high school builds on Dr. Ernest Boyer’s ‘Basic School’ model, in which students not only participate in traditional core academic course work, but also have opportunities to discover, explore and develop their individual interests and abilities through cohesive curriculum in a supportive, and creative community. Whether drawn to the arts, sciences, technology, humanities or physical education, students are challenged to reach beyond their comfort zones, think creatively and learn through real life applications and experiences. Our goal is to help each student find his or her love for learning and prepare every student for college, service, and life.”
According to the NC Department of Public Instruction, “…Community School of Davidson has earned North Carolina’s Honor School of Excellence recognition (more than 90% student’s proficient and high growth). . . and was one of only 12 North Carolina charter schools to meet academic High Growth status for three consecutive years (North Carolina Report Cards, 2011). As a result of the school’s sustained academic success, CSD leaders have reported a student waiting list of over 3,000 students and a pupil attrition rate of zero students in 2010-2011.
The Community School of Davidson High School is located at 565 Griffith Street, Davidson, NC 28036.
More About Public Charter Schools in NC:
In Mecklenburg County, there are currently 12 public charter schools, serving the needs of approximately 8,300 students, who are selected for enrollment by lottery. An additional eight charter school applicants have received “fast track” approvals for 2013 from the State Board of Education. Reportedly, there are 61 proposed schools hoping to open in 2013; five new schools awaiting approval by the State Board of Education within Mecklenburg County. When the North Carolina state legislators lifted the 100-school charter cap, they created also the North Carolina Public Charter Schools Advisory Council to oversee the schools and make recommendations to the Board of Education. Charter schools are not regulated by local public school districts.
According to the NC Department of Public Instruction, “In less than 20 years, charter schools have grown from a novel educational experiment into a high profile stake of the movement to reform education policy (SREB, 2012). The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NACPS) estimated over 5,600 public charter schools will open their doors to more than 1.8 million students in 2012. Charter schools are public schools that do not charge tuition and accept any student who wants to attend through a random lottery drawing.”