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Land agreements put CMS closer to opening new schools at Palisades

STEELE CREEK-- Recent land acquisition of 209 acres between N.C. 49 and Grand Palisades Parkway puts Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools closer to a new a campus featuring an elementary school, high school and county park at The Palisades in Steele Creek.

Rhein Medall purchased more than 78 acres Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools did not need for a new residential neighborhood, called Austin's Creek.

Also, as part of this land development agreement, Crescent Resources traded 30 acres to the school district for the elementary school site.

The schools will share the costs of road, sewer and water installation, as well as other development costs, with Rhein Medall.

The Palisades school campus will have several access points on N.C. 49, as well as access to Grand Palisades Parkway.

"We value our working relationship with the staff of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools to work toward and achieve a win-win solution for the all children of Mecklenburg County and the residents of The Palisades," said Jim Medall, president of Rhein Medall The Palisades developer, who handled negotiations with the former land owners, placed the land under contract and worked with the school district and their attorney Kevin Bringewatt. "We are very enthusiastic about the opening of two new schools to serve all of the high-quality homes built and planned at The Palisades and in the lower Steele Creek area."

The elementary school at The Palisades was funded for construction by a 2007 bond referendum. The elementary school is being designed and construction is scheduled to begin in 2009. It will open in fall 2010.

The high school at The Palisades has not been funded but is included in the updated Ten-Year Plan. It is scheduled to open in 2014.

"When it has been in the best interest of the community, we have reached out to our colleagues in the development community and together have accomplished some remarkable projects," said Mike Raible, executive director of facilities planning for CMS. "Clearly, it is in everyone's best interest that we continue to do so in the future."