CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mecklenburg County is getting its second Catholic high school later this year.
The Diocese of Charlotte announced Thursday it will open Christ the King Catholic High in August, somewhere in the northern part of the county. Its temporary location probably will be in the Huntersville area, diocesan officials said.
Christ the King High will be the diocese's 19th school and its second high school. Charlotte Catholic High has operated for 56 years in south Charlotte.
David Hains, a spokesman for the diocese, said the new high school is designed to serve the growing number of families north of Charlotte -- in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Catawba, Iredell, Lincoln and Rowan counties.
Diocesan officials have been planning the school for more than a year and have been meeting with families and prospective students, to get a gauge on the size of first-year enrollment.
"Right now, it appears as if we have 55 freshmen and 15 to 20 sophomores," said Dan Dolan, a diocesan education official who has been meeting with interested families and leading in the planning for the school.
Dolan said that with the school's opening now a reality, that number could grow.
"We know there are always some people who want to see something tangible -- not just a plan," he said.
The temporary and permanent sites for the school have not been selected, but Hains said the "most likely" permanent location would be in the vicinity of Poplar Tent Road and N.C. 73, in the Huntersville-Cornelius area.
Christ the King Catholic High will start with ninth and 10th grades this fall, then add an 11th grade in 2012 and a 12th grade in 2013. The first graduation at the school is planned for the spring of 2014.
No decision has been announced on a principal for the school. Dolan said students and staff will be involved in selecting a nickname for the school's athletic teams. And the athletic program, he said, will operate on a club level initially, then gradually become a regular interscholastic program.
Parents interested in enrolling students in grades 9 or 10 in August should contact the Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools office, 704-370-3273.