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RCCC plans first new building in decades, with opening date targeted for 2010

By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College plans to construct its first significant classroom building in about two decades on the Salisbury campus.
The city of Salisbury’s Technical Review Committee, made up of staff members from various departments, looked over the site plan Thursday.
It calls for a two-and-a-half-story, 38,000-square-foot building, which would be built just south of the existing campus footprint.
Dr. Mark Beymer, an assistant vice president at the college, said the classroom facility will focus on law enforcement training, art, physical education and pre-college studies, among other disciplines.
It will cost an estimated $7.8 million and is scheduled to be bid out in coming months, with a targeted opening date of fall 2010.
Walkways will link the new building to the rest of the campus, and additional parking will be created. The new structure will become the closest structure accessible from College Drive off Old Concord Road.
Architect Michael Chreitzberg, of YCH Architects in Concord, said the classroom will be the basis for the future design of additional educational buildings on the North Campus of RCCC.
The proposed building materials became a sticking point for the Technical Review Committee Thursday. Zoning Administrator David Phillips said he would not be able to issue a zoning permit for the structure because of the wording in the recently adopted Land Development Ordinance.
For institutional buildings, the ordinance makes no mention of metal as a material allowed on walls.
The YCH Architects’ design calls for a modern looking building that would be 65 percent brick and glass and 35 percent metal panels. Chreitzberg said it would employ two types of high-end metal panels that have been commonly used in business, office and college buildings.
Members of the Technical Review Committee had no problem with the design and expressed confidence that it would be approved. But the college will have to go through a process of having the entire campus site rezoned to a conditional district.
“It’s not a question of whether this can happen,” said City Councilman Bill Burgin, who sat in on the Technical Review Committee meeting. “It absolutely can.”
In a conditional district, the metal panels could be approved as part of an alternate design.
Senior Planner Preston Mitchell said the conditional district application could be heard by the Planning Board Sept. 8 and acted on by the City Council Oct. 7. He stressed that it wasn’t the Land Development Ordinance’s intent to prohibit the type of innovative design the college proposes.
“I’d be real optimistic this is going to sail through,” Burgin reassured the college representatives.
Another question facing the college is getting an adequate flow of water to the new building to satisfy the fire code. Fire officials and city engineers said the code calls for a flow of 2,125 gallons a minute.
With the current 6-inch line and one hydrant, the water flow is about 900 gallons a minute, according to the Technical Review Committee.
In another matter, the committee reviewed a site plan for Oak Haven Mobile Home Park, which wants to expand by 20 lots. The mobile home park is at 775 Airport Road near Cedar Springs Road.
Pat and Kevin Davidson are the owners, and they also are asking the city to put the site within a conditional use district. The existing site has 62 owner-occupied mobile homes. With the expansion, it would have 82 mobile homes on 18.1 acres.
The owners will build a new cul-de-sac as part of the expansion.

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