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Rowan-Cabarrus approves new HVAC system for Salisbury campus

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved plans to upgrade its North Campus’ HVAC system Monday, after receiving funding approval from Rowan County commissioners.
The project is expected to save $100,000 in energy costs each year, and is anticipated to pay for itself over a span of 15 years, according to Jonathan Chamberlain, the college’s chief officer of facility services.
With the upcoming additions to the campus’ 600 building, the school needs additional capacity for its chiller plant.
A chiller plant cools the water that is pumped throughout a facility to control the temperature of the air that comes out through the building’s air vents.
“We already have a chiller plant on campus,” Chamberlain said, but added that the existing plant is aging.
Chamberlain said the school sought assistance from Duke Energy’s SmartBuilding Advantage program. They did a study of the facilities, found ways to save energy, and suggested a plan to implement those energy-efficient improvements.
Once a plan was made, Rowan-Cabarrus officials requested $1.9 million from county commissioners for the project.
Those funds were approved at the commissioners’ June 16 meeting. The vote was 4-1, with Commissioner Jon Barber dissenting.
Chamberlain said he will be going to Raleigh along with Board of Commissioners Chairman Jim Sides, County Manager Gary Page and County Finance Director Leslie Heidrick to seek approval from the Local Government Commission Thursday.
The commission will determine if the county has the borrowing capacity to fund the project.
Chamberlain said they hope to start construction by late winter, and need to be finished by May, when the additions to the campus’ 600 building are completed.
The new system is estimated to last 25 years.
In addition, the Duke Energy Foundation awarded the college a $247,453 grant for virtual reality welding equipment.
The equipment gives students the opportunity to experience welding before they begin using the actual equipment.
The system projects each project on a screen so an instructor can watch as the student performs the task, scores the project and eliminates metal costs.
The pilot program will be located at Cabarrus County High School, but the college hopes to expand the program to additional schools in Rowan and Cabarrus counties.

In other news, the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees:
• Recognized students who competed and placed at the national Future Business Leaders of America conference in Nashville. Letitia Dennis-Boger won first place in accounting for professionals and seventh place in accounting principals. Alan Surratt took first place in cost accounting, while Jennifer Suhocky placed second in business communication and in personal finance. David Lore took fourth in computer concepts and third in help desk. Trisha Douglas won third in entrepreneurial concepts and fourth in retail management. Sandy Cromwell won fifth in impromptu speaking and sixth in job interview, and Angela Lore took second in word processing and fourth in management concepts.
• Introduced three new employees: Craig Lamb, vice president of corporate and continuing education; Carol Scherczinger, dean of science, biotechnology, mathematics and information technology and Colin Robinson, program chair of computer integrated machining.
• Approved the minutes from their May 19 meeting.
• Approved the renewal Early College Memorandums of Agreement with Rowan Salisbury, Cabarrus County and Kannapolis City school systems.
• Approved new programs in therapeutic massage and health and fitness science.
• Approved policies dealing with changes to college, accreditation decision disclosure, distance education privacy and academic freedom, tobacco free campuses, naming opportunities and employment of relatives.
• Approved a continuing budget resolution which allows the president of the college to continue to pay salaries and other normal expenses until the state budget is adopted.
• Wrote-off uncollectable accounts.
• Announced that Dr. Lynn Marsh was appointed to the college’s Board of Trustees, and Tom Bost was reappointed.
• Updated the board on summer camps, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the college’s golf tournament, and an upcoming trustee training session.

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