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Council to hear about central office idea

By Emily Ford
eford@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY ó Rowan-Salisbury Schools will pitch the idea of a downtown central school office to Salisbury City Council at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Gene Miller, assistant superintendent, will ask the city to donate about one acre of land worth $200,000 in the 300 block of South Main Street, large enough to accommodate a 62,000-square-foot three-story building. Miller also will request the city provide a paved parking lot that would hold about 160 cars.
School system employees would have exclusive use of the parking lot during normal working hours and planned evening activities.
The total project cost for the new central office is $8.85 million, according to information provided to City Council. By saving $200,000 on the land and $1.5 million in New Market Tax Credits, the adjusted cost is $7.15 million.
The school systemís proposal requires no upfront funding because developer Bryan Barwick of Barwick & Associates in Charlotte would construct and own the building and lease it to the system.
The city and county school systems merged in 1989 with the understanding that central offices would be combined in one location.
ěTwenty-two years later, the central office functions are still not in one location,î a history sheet written by the school system said.
The school system has five ěcentral officeî locations: Long Street, Ellis Street, Ellis Street Annex, Corporate Square (leased) and Horizons Unlimited. The Long Street office needs between $2 million and $3 million in repairs, and the Ellis Street location, constructed in 1904, also needs renovation.
The Council meets in City Hall, 217 S. Main St. Also on Tuesday, City Council will:
Recognize the Salisbury High School Lady Hornets tennis team for winning the N.C. 2A Tennis Championship.
Recognize the Salisbury High School Lady Hornets golf team for winning the N.C. State Golf Championship.
Recognize Code Services Division Manager Chris Branham and Senior Planner Preston Mitchell for achieving certifications as certified zoning officials.
Receive a presentation from staff and community partners regarding the re-designation of Salisbury as a Fit Community.
Consider issuing a special use permit for alcohol to be sold at Neighborhood Market, 702 W. Horah St. The Council will hold a public hearing.
Receive a presentation regarding the 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
Consider updates to the Salisbury Transit Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy.
Receive public comment and the interim city managerís comments.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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