Neighbors are pushing back against a plan for a 2,000-student charter school in western Cary because they worry the project would bring too much traffic.
A town of Cary rezoning hearing for Cardinal Charter Academy West Campus has been delayed, said Colleen Reynolds, a spokeswoman for Charter Schools USA, which would manage the school.
“While we have not given up completely on this option, we are pursuing other options in the event that this does not work out,” Reynolds said in an email. “We are in the process of vetting these options and are not ready to publicly discuss them at this point.”
Cardinal Charter Academy West Campus was scheduled to open in 2019 in Cary on the Chatham County border. The school, which was approved by the State Board of Education on Nov. 2, would have been one of the largest charter schools in North Carolina, enrolling up to 2,180 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
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Meanwhile, Cardinal Charter Academy, a Charter Schools USA facility planned for Knightdale, won’t open at all because organizers were unable to find a “suitable location,” Reynolds said. It was initially set to open in 2016, but at least three potential sites for the school fell through.
Allen Taylor, president of the Triangle Charter Education Association, which oversees the planned schools, said the group’s board hasn’t given up on opening charters in the Triangle.
He said finding land and facilities for new schools “is a difficult thing.” The Cary school was expected to be located on 20 acres at Yates Store and New Hope Church roads in the Weldon Ridge development.
“We’re not breaking ground on (the Cary) school tomorrow,” Taylor said, adding that the board was still pursing the site. “But we certainly haven’t relinquished our charter.”
Charter Schools USA manages eight other charter schools in North Carolina, including Cardinal Charter Academy in Wake County, which serves kindergarten through eighth-grade students.
Charter schools are taxpayer-funded schools that are exempt from some rules applied to traditional public schools, such as providing meals and transportation.
Pressley Baird: 919-829-4635; Twitter: @pressleybaird