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Construction will Soon Begin on the Replacement of MNSA’s Current Retaining Wall

September 13, 2021 

Good Afternoon Montford North Star Academy Students, Staff and Families.  This is Ashley-Michelle Thublin, Executive Director of Communications, with an important update about your school community.  

We wanted to let you know that construction will soon begin on the replacement of MNSA’s current retaining wall.  We believe the large rock wall was originally constructed in the 1950s.  And, over time, the wall has begun to deteriorate.  Currently, there is a segment along Gudger Street that, if left untouched, will eventually pose a threat to public safety; families currently picking up their car riders are safe driving on Gudger Street. 

Thanks to the generous support of the School Capital Fund Commission, about $580,000 has been allotted to complete this project.   

Asheville City Schools’ Maintenance Department has engaged with a third-party engineering consultant, S&ME, to ensure the new design is not only structurally sound but in alignment with the requirements of the Asheville Historic Resources Commission.  The full design report can be found here.

Construction on the new retaining wall will take about 120 days to complete.  While the project is underway, Gudger Street will be closed beginning Monday, September 20th until just before our students and staff leave for Winter Break. Knowing that our MNSA families currently use Gudger Street to pick up their car riders, with support from Principal Baggett, a new traffic pattern will be temporarily put in place for our car riders.  Families will form the car line down Courtland Ave. 

In order to support our families, please know a traffic guard will temporarily be stationed outside MNSA during dismissal.  

Construction will not interfere with our bus riders. 

Thank you for your support and understanding as we work together to ensure construction is carried out as smoothly as possible.  We will continue to keep you updated as progress is made.