Central office loan approved by Local Government Commission

Published 3:07 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Construction is the only thing left in the way of a new Rowan-Salisbury School System central office becoming a reality.

The N.C. Local Government Commission, a state financial regulatory agency, on Tuesday approved Rowan County’s request to take out a $6.5 million loan — the largest part of a $7.98 million construction budget for the Rowan Salisbury School System’s proposed central office. The loan, submitted by Suntrust Bank, comes with about $1 million in total interest.

In its discussion, Local Government Commission staff noted a letter from Salisbury resident Ronnie Smith claiming fraud and other wrongdoing. In discussion the commission’s staff decided the claims were not substantiated with Rowan County residents and officials.

The commission also noted a letter received from local political group La Resistance in support of the loan.

“The need for this project is long-standing. The County’s Board of Education and Commissioners have come together to overwhelmingly approve the current site, building contract, and proposed financing,” the letter states. “The proposed financing meets the statutory requirement for approval by the LGC. As citizens of Rowan County, we request that the LGC approve the proposed financing for the Rowan Salisbury Schools Central Office project.”

Commenting on the approval, Salisbury Mayor Paul Woodson said: “Rowan County’s educational system needs a new image. This new central office will be a positive step.”

The city of Salisbury pitched in $500,000 and about $150,000 in in-kind services. Other monetary contributions include $875,000 from the Robertson Foundation and $150,000 from philanthropist Fred Stanback.