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Editorial: Still shopping for new office

Kudos to the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education for pressing on in its search for a new headquarters site. The school system needs a better office situation for its staff.
The latest building to appear on the system’s prospects list is the former Winn-Dixie site on Jake Alexander Boulevard, beside the Hurley Family YMCA. The Winn-Dixie building has 43,000 square feet. That’s not quite what the system was hoping for, which is 55,000 to 65,000, but there appears to be room for expansion. Being so close to the Y could bring great benefits, too.
Critics of the system’s quest for a single central office point to other agencies that operate in more than one location. County government offices are scattered. City government has several locations. So do many successful businesses. But more than centralization is at stake here. There’s also the condition of the buildings where school officials are housed now. If the Long Street and Ellis Street offices had been renovated as painstakingly as the Rowan County Administrative Office Building ó if they even had the potential that the former federal courthouse had ó the community might not be having this conversation.
But school officials have always put students’ needs ahead of top administrators’ needs when it comes to space, and it shows. So the school system faces a double whammy when trying to recruit new teachers or otherwise do business with the public. Its offices are in two buildings that are far, far apart, and those buildings have clearly seen better days. Rowan County can do better than that.

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