CMS approves over $1.3M on mobile classrooms to relieve overcrowding

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board approved more than $1.3 million Wednesday night on mobile classrooms to help relieve overcrowding at Ardrey Kell High School, Julius Chambers High School and Davidson K-8.

School board Chairwoman Elyse Dashew said the mobile units are meant to be a temporary solution to a problem that is districtwide. There are 141,219 students who enrolled in CMS for the 2022-2023 school year, which is 252 more than what the district projected.

“We’ve got overcrowding in a lot of our schools across the district, so it’s a real relief that we were able to pay for these mobile classrooms,” she said.

The district is starting a community-engagement series for a capital-planning process to build more schools, which includes the demolition and replacement of schools, magnet-program relocations and facility improvements at several high schools.

The first community-engagement session is at 6 p.m. Thursday at Garinger High School in east Charlotte.

CMS approved the following schools to get the money:

  • Ardrey Kell: $486,848
  • Davidson K-8: $398,779
  • Julius Chambers: $439,200

Dashew acknowledged that some parents aren’t fans of mobile classrooms.

“It all depends on how the school handles it, and how the teacher handles it,” she said. “But it’s certainly not ideal. I think in a perfect world, we would have enough bricks and mortar space for everybody to be in one building.”

Samuel Chesborough Jr., a student at Chambers High School, is ready for the fix.

“When I walk in the halls and stuff it’s a lot of kids, it’s tight and stuff,” he said.

His dad, Samuel Chesborough Sr., is all for whatever makes it easier for kids to learn.

“I’m more so about whatever is easier for the kids learning, if the mobile classroom is less students, where you could focus more on students, helping them, I’m all for that,” Chesborough Sr. said.

A school bond that is on the ballot for next year should alleviate the needs for some mobile classrooms.

“We will have a school bond on the ballot next year, which should alleviate the need for some of these mobile classrooms,” Dashew said.

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