Central office progressing

A split Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education gave final authorization to the land swap that will allow the district’s consolidated central office to be built on North Main St. in Salisbury.

Chuck Hughes and Josh Wagner voted against the authorization, while Richard Miller, Kay Wright Norman, Susan Cox, Jean Kennedy and L.A. Overcash voted in favor of it.

“It’s just a technicality of confirmation,” said Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody, adding that the board already unanimously approved the land swap, in which Lee and Mona Lisa Wallace would give the district property in the 500-block of North Main Street in exchange for the Ellis Street property that currently houses the district’s executive offices.

Hughes said he has “no real problem” with the central office being built in the 500-block of North Main Street, but said he’s “uncomfortable with the way it got there.

It’s not what I know, but what I don’t know,” he said. “My gut reaction is just that I can’t support that.”

Hughes said he would rather not elaborate on the foundation for his reservations.

Architect Bill Burgin delivered an update on the central office to the board.

When it’s all said and done, the North Main Street site is either “better or the same” than the previously proposed property on South Main Street, Burgin said.

The Historic Preservation Committee has issued a certificate of appropriateness, and the Technical Review Committee approved the project with just a few remarks. The subsurface information and the phase one environmental study came back with appropriate results.

Duke Power agreed to temporarily move some power lines during construction at no cost to the district, and Shulenburger Surveying is allowing them to cross its property line with the central office during construction at no cost as well.

Burgin is setting up a meeting with Mayor Paul Woodson to verify the city still intends to offer the same services at the North Main property as they did at the South Main site, such as sidewalks, water and sewer taps and extend storm sewer line.

“We’re not asking for anything special,” Burgin said.

Requests to close the alley and the Cemetery Street sidewalk during construction have been submitted, as have the appropriate requests to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the planning board.

City Council approval is in progress, and the Rowan County Inspection Department approval is pending, as are approvals from the Department of Insurance and the Department of Public Instruction.

Burgin said the civil and structural drawings should be finished by Thursday.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Anthony Vann said he believes a final guaranteed maximum price by mid-October, which could possibly put the central office project before the Local Government Commission in November.

Funding approval by the Local Government Commission must be in place before the construction on the central office can begin.

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