Thursday, July 18, 2024

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Construction underway on new gym for county’s fourth charter school

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Construction has started on a new gymnasium for the county’s fourth charter school, Alamance Community School, which opened in 2020 and is located along Kronbergs Court, just off Jimmie Kerr Road and I-85/40.

Located at 195 Kronbergs Court, Alamance Community School has a Haw River street address but is located within the city of Graham’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) on a total of 10.71 acres, based on preliminary site plans that have been filed with the city’s planning department.

The city of Graham issued the building permit for the gymnasium – which will also have locker rooms, offices, and storage space – on April 8 of this year, according to the city’s planning department.

The estimated cost for construction of the gymnasium is $1.4 million; a separate HVAC system will also be installed, for an estimated cost of $300,000, Graham city officials told The Alamance News Wednesday morning.

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The gymnasium will be constructed with pre-engineered metal components by Hubrich Contracting in Durham, according to the contractor.  The gym, which is underway along the eastern edge of the property, will have seating capacity for 232 people, based on the site plan filed with the city of Graham.

The preliminary site plan shows that the forthcoming gym will have a roof elevation of approximately 30 feet, a basketball court and concession area, offices, three classrooms, and restrooms.

Hubrich Contracting is also in the process of building a new fine arts wing for another nearby charter school, Voyager Academy in Durham, according to the contractor.   Hubrich has also built facilities for more than a dozen other K-12 public charter schools and private schools in North and South Carolina, as well as an office building in Research Triangle Park for Duke University.

Alamance Community School had a total of 633 students in kindergarten through sixth grade enrolled as of the end of the first month of 2023-24 school year, the most recent period for which the data is available from the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

Like most other North Carolina charter schools, Alamance Community School has continued to add additional grades with each subsequent year of operation, in keeping with plans that the school’s founders had filed with the State Board of Education in 2019.

Alamance Community School initially opened for students in kindergarten through third grade in a temporary location within Crosslink Community Church in Mebane for the 2020-21 school year, the charter school announced at the time.

Alamance Community School opened in its current location off Jimmie Kerr Road following the completion of construction on the existing 69,000-square foot, two-story school building several years ago.

Subsequent phases of expansion have included the construction of one existing, modular 10-classroom “cottage” that opened for the 2023-24 school year.  The charter school is also proposing to build a second 10-room modular classroom building, based on a “Middle School Site Plan & Construction” update from Alamance Community School.

The location of a second proposed modular 10-classroom building is roughed in on the plans that Alamance Community School has filed with the city for the gymnasium, but that aspect of the charter school’s future expansion appears to be pending further review.

The property on which Alamance Community School is situated is already zoned B-2 for general business, which allows for these types of school uses, Graham city officials said this week, adding that the property was previously annexed into the city limits.

The most recent financial data available from DPI shows that, for 2023-24, Alamance Community School received a total of $9.7 million in state and federal funding to support its operations.

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