Social Services groundbreaking will be Thursday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Kathy Chaffin
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Rowan County Department of Social Services building will be held Thursday at 2 p.m.
The ceremony will be held at the Rowan County Health Services Building at 1811 E. Innes St.
Sandra Wilkes, director of the Department of Social Services, said she and the staff are very excited about the new building. “For the last several years, our employees have been located in four different buildings,” she said.
Wilkes said having all of the department’s almost 200 employees in one location will make it easier for county residents who may be having to travel to different sites. “Perhaps they need to see a child support worker, a foster care worker, food assistance or Medicaid worker,” she said. “Those workers will be in the main and only DSS building.”
It will also be nice for staff to be together under one roof so they can get to know each other, Wilkes said. “We don’t even have enough space for all of the employees to meet together.”
Carl Ford, chairman of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners and vice chairman of the Rowan Board of Social Services, will open the groundbreaking ceremony and make comments on behalf of county government.
Others scheduled to participate are: Rowan Board of Social Services Chairman Nilous Avery and members Lillian Morgan, John Blair and Jim Sides; Salisbury Mayor Susan Kluttz; Judy Kandl, project manager for Ramsay, Burgin, Smith Architects Inc., the architectural firm for the project; and Gregory Moore, project manager for general contractor R.L. Casey.
The approximately $6 million project will add 27,000 square feet of new space to the Health Services Building and renovate the mental health portion of the building.
The county plans to sell the Mahaley Avenue Social Services building ó valued at $800,000 ó and use the proceeds to offset the cost of the new building.
The other three Social Services buildings include the main headquarters on West Innes Street, the Southmark Center off South Main Street and the Crawford Building on North Main Street.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249.