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RCCC steps closer to $12M in bond funds

By Sarah Campbell
scampbell@salisburypost.com
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College could soon begin the planning phases for capital improvements and renovations to the North Campus.
The college’s vice president of advancement, said Monday all that’s standing between the college and the $12 million in bond money, approved by county voters in November, is a vote by the Rowan County Board of Commissioners.
“The 30-day public comment period has expired,” Jerry Chandler said.
Chandler said the bond will be on the agenda at the next Rowan County Board of Commissioners meeting at 3 p.m. Feb. 7.
“At that meeting, I anticipate they’ll be giving the finance director Leslie Heidrick direction on how to issue the bonds,” he said.
Rowan County Manager Gary Page told the Post in November it would likely take about 90 days to sell the bonds.
Chandler said in order to speed up the process, Rowan-Cabarrus officials will be requesting the board adopt a resolution of reimbursement.
That resolution would allow the college to spend its own money on the project and be repaid after the bonds are sold.
The $12 million package includes $3 million for campus accessibility improvements, $6.7 million for additions and renovations and $2.3 million to relocate and expand the fire training grounds.
Gaye McConnell, the college’s vice president of student services, said the additional classroom space created in Building 600 through bond monies will be crucial in the future.
The school’s spring enrollment topped 7,100 this year, growing 3 percent from last year and more than 50 percent in 2007.
“We do expect we’ll continue to see those increases,” she said.
McConnell said the college will likely see more 18- to 22- year-old students who make an “economically driven” choice to attend Rowan-Cabarrus rather than pricier four-year schools.
She said enrollment will also continue to rise as employers seek to hire more college-educated employees.


In other action
The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees also:
• Voted to terminate the Real Estate Associates Degree program and the Real Estate Certificate Licensing program. The licensing courses have been moved to the Continuing Education department.
• Received an update on the campuswide smoking ban from Elana Miles, a tobacco free peer education.
Miles said since the ban began in August, there have been few issues with compliance.
She said there are sign placed across campus and mouse pads in the college’s computer labs.
“We don’t want to offend anyone, but we have to be constant as far as reminding people,” she said.
Miles said the school will continues to promote the ban by hosting a Health Fair in March and Kick?Butts day that focusing on cessation.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.

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