Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) is a large community college in Charlotte, North Carolina. Named Central Piedmont Community College by statute and commonly known as CPCC or Central Piedmont, its more than 70,000 students make it one of the largest community colleges in the North Carolina Community College System.
The school was founded in 1963; it is the result of a merger between Mecklenburg College and the Central Industrial Education Center. Now the College consists of six satellite campuses and an extensive "Virtual Campus", all in the Charlotte metropolitan area.
In 2012, US President Barack Obama invoked CPCC in his State of the Union Address.
From 1922 to 1959, Central High School was located on Elizabeth Avenue, where Central Piedmont Community College is now located. When the county and city school systems merged in the early 1950s, the building went unused until 1959 with its students moving into the new Garinger High School. With the building vacant Charlotte College (later UNCC) used the space. Starting in 1959, the Central Industrial Education Center shared the space in the old high school. The three-story building later became Garinger Hall and was once again named the Central High Building in 2002. As a result of the 1963 N.C. Community College Act, the Central Industrial Education Center and the black Mecklenburg College combined to become Central Piedmont Community College.
WTVI Charlotte’s PBS affiliate, now run by Central Piedmont Community College, will become a laboratory for the college’s new associate degree program launching in August 2015 in broadcasting and production technology.
Central Campus is in the Elizabeth neighborhood (adjacent to Independence Park and the Little Sugar Creek Greenway). The campus is set up more like a traditional university campus, housing many buildings on many different blocks. Currently, certain buildings on campus are being expanded and renovated, while others are being replaced all together.
There are street car rails in the pavement of Elizabeth Avenue, which bisects through the heart of campus. The rails are for the proposed Center City Corridor.
Next door to the campus sits Grady Cole Center and Memorial Stadium, the latter plays hosts to large capacity local high school football games and a new Major League Lacrosse expansion team, the Charlotte Hounds.
Originally the Northeast Campus, it is located near Reedy Creek Nature Reserve and was opened in Summer of 2002 with two buildings totaling 50,000 sq/ft. Built to relieve overcrowding at Central Campus, this location's focus area is horticulture due to its hilly and shady terrain, close proximity to local parks and ease of access to the rest of the county. It is also located in the University City section of Charlotte, the campus is only 3 miles from University of North Carolina at Charlotte, providing close proximity for students of both institutions to take classes at either campus.
In the Summer of 2005, the campus was renamed after Wayland H. Cato, a retailer who donates to the College. The campus also saw expansion and has since added another building, however the main focus of the Cato Campus is still horticulture and turf management.
Opened in Winter of 1998 as the Southwest Campus, this satellite campus is located on Hebron St. off of Nations Ford Rd. in Southwest Charlotte. The campus focuses on construction technologies, welding, HVAC systems, graphic design and arts, and general studies.
Opened as the 'South Campus' in the fall of 1998, this satellite campus is located in southeast Mecklenburg County, in Matthews, North Carolina. The campus opened with a 116,000 sq/ft building on a 32 acres, aimed at relieving the overcrowding at the Central Campus. The campus features a book store, computer lab and a food court in a three-story building. The campus was renamed and increased to 220,000 sq/ft with the aim to make the new Levine Campus into a full-fledged college campus. In late 2005 the Levine Campus grew again, when NASCAR owner Rick Hendrick donated money to build the $4 million, 25,000 sq/ft facility, 'Joe Hendrick Center for Automotive Technology'.
Now the campus has seen an enrollment of over 10,000 students, most looking to start their collegiate career toward a 2-year degree or transferring to a 4-year university or college. With the construction of I-485 right next door, the College has expanded the role for the campus, particularly for computer and information technology, as the Levine Campus houses the largest enrollment of this kind of all CPCC campuses.
The first of CPCC's satellite campuses, it was opened in 1990 as the North Center, eventually growing with the addition of the Public Safety building in 1996 and being renamed the North Campus. The campus is located north of Charlotte, in Huntersville, North Carolina. This campus is home to the College's Public Safety and Transportation Systems programs. In 2011 the College renamed the campus to the Merancas Campus, after longtime donor's Casey and Anke Mermans and their Merancas Foundation.
Harris Campus opened in the West Charlotte area in 2001. It is located next to the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. The campus houses meeting and convention spaces.
(Distance learning)John H. White - American photojournalist, 1982 Pulitzer Prize recipient
E. Thomas Fisher - Senior Vice President and Global Commercial Chief Information Officer of Oracle Systems
Calvin Brock - Olympian
Jay Thomas - American actor, comedian, and radio talk show host
Lee Windsor - American screenwriter
Daniel P. Walker - North Carolina Certified Paralegal (NCCP)