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School board OKs additional property purchase

In its last meeting with current board members, the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education adopted a proposal to purchase additional property in the 500 block of N. Main St. in Salisbury.

The vote was 5-1, with Chuck Hughes voting against, and Richard Miller, Kay Wright Norman, Susan Cox, Jean Kennedy and L.A. Overcash voting in favor of the proposal. Josh Wagner was not at Thursday’s meeting.

Current plans for the school system’s central services office have the building’s back wall a mere six feet away from Shulenburger Surveying Company’s chimney – which means special, expensive footings and a windowless firewall are mandatory to the building’s design.

The new proposal authorizes the purchase of the Shulenburger property, in conjunction with Richard Monroe, owner of adjacent Richard’s Bar-B-Que.

Monroe has verbally agreed to purchase 60 percent of the property, leaving 40 percent for the Rowan-Salisbury School System to purchase.

The property price provided to Board of Education members is $248,000. The school system would pay $118,000, and Monroe would pay $150,000.

Demolition of the existing building on the property is estimated at $20,000, an expense that would also follow the 60 percent-40 percent breakdown.

The school system would realize roughly $20,000 in savings by obtaining the property.

“We can eliminate some expensive footings and we can eliminate the firewall,” said Assistant Superintendent of Operations Anthony Vann. “I think that the overall project from an aesthetics point would be more pleasing to the downtown area and the county.”

Funding for the purchase would come from the money Duke Energy is paying for its right of way through the property to maintain its power lines.

Vann said his understanding of the agreement is that if Monroe agrees to the terms, the proposal will not have to come back to the board before a contract is signed.

Travis Allen, who will take Kay Wright Norman’s place on the board Dec. 8, said he hopes the new board members have a chance to review the proposal.

Allen said he believes the agreement was “all done in haste” under the assumption that the new board would stop it.

“The contract they’ve written isn’t worth the paper it’s written on,” he said, adding that his understanding is that the school system must have the funding in hand and own the property to make such an agreement.

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