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Public input sought on proposed charter school location

MATT CHAPMAN
Staff Writer

A community involvement meeting regarding a proposed site for West Lake Preparatory Academy, a new Lincoln County charter school that was approved by the North Carolina Board of Education over the summer, will be held later this month.

Rufus Road Partners, LLC, has filed a request to amend the master plan for the Wildbrook residential development that was approved by the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners last November. The amendment, if approved, would permit a charter school that would be placed on a 10.5-acre portion of the 73-acre Wildbrook site that borders Triangle Circle, Rufus Road and Airlie Parkway in Denver. The proposed charter school location is on the eastern portion of the site that borders Triangle Circle.

“The charter school developer approached us about purchasing some of our property and we looked around at what we have in that area with Wildbrook and also the nearby Rivercross development,” Wildbrook director of development Steve Bailey said. “There are going to be a lot of rooftops in that area, so I think that the charter school folks like the fact that a lot of those folks will hopefully be able to walk to school. I think that if you do the math there will be almost 600 units right there immediately adjacent to the charter school that will be very centrally located and I think that was a selling point for them.”

Wildbrook, when it was originally approved last year, was supposed to contain up to 180 single-family detached homes. The addition of the charter school on the property would eliminate 30 homes, cutting the total number of residences within the development to 150.

A preliminary site plan submitted by the charter school developer calls for a single-story school building of nearly 40,000 square feet. The plan also features 125 parking spaces and a proposed soccer field on the campus.

Wildbrook is expected to consist of two different lot sizes, with homes ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 square feet, depending on the number of stories at each residence. The homes on the smaller lots are expected to market for around $225,000-$275,000 and the larger lots will likely sell between $295,000-$375,000.

The Wildbrook development is currently under construction, with the clearing and grading of the site already completed and the installation of utilities currently underway. The plan is to begin selling lots within the development by the first quarter of 2018, with initial home construction scheduled to begin in March, according to Bailey.

West Lake Preparatory Academy is projected to open in August 2018, according to the charter school application submitted last September. The school is scheduled to house 661 students from kindergarten through sixth grade during its first year of operation. Seventh and eighth grade classes would then be added in each of the next two years and the application projects a total enrollment of 1,145 students once the school has been open for five years.

A community involvement meeting regarding the charter school location will be conducted on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. inside the East Lincoln Community Center, located at 8160 Optimist Club Road in Denver. That meeting is required to provide information to and seek comments from the community prior to a subsequent public hearing in front of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners at a later date.

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