CPCC officials hope to receive bond for training

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Voters will decide on a bond referendum on Nov. 5 for Charlotte Mecklenburg schools and Central Piedmont Community College.

College leaders said Tuesday what they will buy with $210 million if the bond passes.

"We're poised to become a global hub of commerce," said CPCC President Tony Zeiss.

He said CPCC needs to expand with this biggest bond in their history to help train the workforce for that hub of commerce.

CPCC's enrollment is up 37 percent since the recession and space is limited.

"We can produce people in these skills jobs but we can't do it if we don't have the space," Zeiss said.

Their five-year capital plan calls for 10 renovations and new buildings at five of their six campuses. That would add almost 1 million square feet in new job-training facilities.

"We need space to attract key business," said Dr. Kathy Drumm, executive vice president. "One reason they come is the ability to get good skilled workers."

Mecklenburg County commissioners said no tax increase will be necessary to finance the bonds.

"Education is important for my future," said student Oakley McGee.

The bond referendum would also give $290 million to Charlotte Mecklenburg schools, which has 18 projects planned to relieve overcrowding by renovating and building new schools.