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Space needs study pushed back again

The presentation of a space needs study for county departments has been pushed back again — this time to mid March.

A space needs study for county departments, started several months ago, was originally scheduled for presentation to the Rowan County Board of County Commissioners in December. Architects returned with a study that didn’t include departments and agencies housed in the Rowan County Courthouse. Subsequently, county officials pushed back the study for the judicial agencies’ inclusion. Most recently, the study was on track to be presented at Monday’s commissioners meeting, but Chairman Greg Edds said it was again pushed back intentionally.

The most recent deadline for presentation is the commissioners’ March 16 meeting, which will be at 6 p.m., the regular time for commissioners’ second meeting each month. The first meeting each month is regularly scheduled for 3 p.m.

“The architect is out of state that week,” Edds said. “They offered to come back, but considering the meeting was a 3 p.m. meeting, we thought we’d move to mid-month so we could have them present at a 6 p.m. meeting. We wanted to be kind to the architect firm and also make the meeting as accessible as possible by moving to the 6 p.m. meeting.”

A space needs study is just one part of a two-step process to determine the future layout of Rowan County’s facilities. The second part of the process is a master plan for all county departments. The space needs study will only include the needs of each department, and the master plan would make suggestions about how to address needs, according to County Manager Aaron Church.

Less than a handful of departments were without significant space needs, according to the second draft of the study. Some of the departments with the greatest number of needs listed in the study were Social Services, Health and Emergency Services. The Board of Elections and Veterans Services have already been identified as needing new facilities.

The delay in the space needs study’s presentation won’t affect a master plan that’s scheduled to be presented to commissioners in April, Edds said.

In a post on his public Facebook page about the delay, Edds said he was “looking forward to addressing this issue openly then moving on to issues that will bring quality jobs, opportunities for our residents, and an expanding tax base that will help us pay for those things we all value.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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