Officials: Chatham’s newest high school on target, meeting budget

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As Chatham prepares for the opening of its newest high school, district and construction officials state that all is on schedule for an August 2021 opening and will come within the roughly $62 million budget.

On Dec. 24, the Seaforth High School project was 59% complete with a final completion date of April 6, 2021, according to documents shared at the Chatham County Board of Education’s annual mid-year retreat.

Seaforth, which will be located at 444 Seaforth Road near Jordan Lake, will phase in students when it opens in the fall of 2021. In its first year, the school will serve only freshman and sophomores. Seaforth will continue to welcome a new freshman class each year, and by the third year, when the first 10th graders are seniors, Seaforth will have ninth through 12th grade students.

Seaforth is designed to address Chatham’s growing population, which is projected to increase significantly as construction continues on Chatham Park, the largest mixed-use development in the state. Chatham Park is expected to bring in at least 60,000 new residents to Pittsboro over the next 40 years.

Northwood High School is currently Pittsboro’s only high school. Though the building was designed to support 1,000 students, Northwood’s enrollment was at 1,365 students as of March 2019, the school’s website says. 

Seaforth’s two-story building will support 1,200 students and have a core capacity of 1,400 individuals. 

Zoning for Seaforth, though, has yet to be determined. Chatham County Schools has partnered with North Carolina State University’s Operations Research and Education Laboratory, part of the Institute for Transportation Research and Education, to host three sessions for community input on Seaforth’s attendance zone. 

The final session will take place on Feb. 20 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Horton Middle School. Members of the community are encouraged to attend.

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