DAVIDSON – As the first step toward the creation of a separate, fully equipped upper school campus, Davidson Day School has purchased a parcel of land along the east side of N.C. 115 just north of Bridges Farm Road between the Davidson and Mooresville town limits.
On July 31, the school finalized the purchase of 17.4 acres at 1803 Mecklenburg Hwy. The site, according to a release from the school, is three miles from the private school’s current 15-acre campus, which opened 11 years ago at 750 Jetton St. in Davidson.
Head of School Latta Baucom described the $1.29 million acquisition as the first phase of the school’s intentions to expand its upper school program and establish a two-campus school to serve its students.
Currently about 520 students attend the Jetton Street facility, where Davidson Day, founded in 1999, provides educational programs divided into lower, middle and upper school categories for students from 2 years old through the 12th grade.
At the planned new campus, in addition to upper school classes, the property will include athletic fields and a gymnasium.
“This has been a part of our long-range plans,” Baucom said, adding the vision for school expansion had been regularly discussed with school families. “We have been actively pursuing a desirable location to give us the opportunity to grow our upper school.”
Renee Brown, chair of the Davidson Day Board of Trustees, agreed, stating in the press release the acquisition of the N.C. 115 acreage is a key component of the school’s overall strategic plan.
“Our board has a robust growth plan for Davidson Day as we move into our 20th year of operation,” Brown is quoted as saying. “We pride ourselves on developing well-rounded leaders who are creative, collaborative and demonstrate strong character. Building a new upper school campus will help us to offer our innovative and challenging learning environment to more students as the Lake Norman area continues to grow.”
Exact plans and construction schedules for Davidson Day’s second campus have not been determined. School officials said plans for the expansion are in the “very early stages.” And, according to the release, the school’s trustees and administrators are engaging a variety of stakeholders in that process to ensure the expansion project reflects the needs of students and teachers and aligns closely with the school’s vision and mission.
In order to fund the construction of the new campus, Davidson Day will launch a capital campaign.
“The timing of the build-out and subsequent opening of the new upper school facility will be dictated by the pace of our fundraising efforts,” Baucom said.
“The opportunities this new campus addition will provide will enable us to expand our overall curricular offerings at every divisional level,” he added, “as well as open up new possibilities for our athletic and other extracurricular components.”
Coinciding with the planned development of its second campus, school officials are also planning changes at the existing facility. According to the release, while the current building has been updated over the years to accommodate school growth, there are plans to reconfigure the facility to optimize learning for students in the lower and middle school programs.
Information about the school is available at www.davidsonday.org, and updates about second-campus plans and fundraising efforts will also be posted on that site.