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School board to discuss consolidated elementary school

The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education will discuss the proposed consolidation of two west Rowan elementary schools at its Monday meeting.

The meeting will begin at 4 p.m. in the Long Street Board Room at 110 S. Long St, East Spencer.

The board has been discussing consolidating Woodleaf and Cleveland elementary schools for some time, a move which would involve transplanting the nearly 700 students to a new building with a proposed capacity for 800. A long-range facility plan includes an assessment of Rowan-Salisbury elementary schools attached to the board’s January agenda lists Woodleaf and Cleveland elementary as having the worst conditions of the county’s 20 elementary schools.

The construction of a consolidated Western Elementary school was cited at the board’s April 28, 2015 meeting to cost an estimated $26,018,925, but the cost may vary throughout the process.

The assessment also highlights a reduction in staff as an area for potential savings, including positions for administrators, janitorial staff, cafeteria workers, secretarial and media center positions.

The board will also discuss the disposal of its Long Street office. Two entities have made a formal request for the building: the Paul. L. Dunbar Charter Organization, who hopes to transform the old building into a community center and eventually a charter school, and the Town of East Spencer.

Other discussion items:

  • The board will consider appropriating funds for non-highlighted items that were previously introduced in December. At the Dec. 14 meeting, the board moved to appropriate $134,000 for items deemed urgent. Should the board choose to appropriate funds for the remainder of the items they would use $117,500, for a total of $251,500. This would leave $4,747,756 in the 2015-2016 general fund.
  • Adopting a resolution supporting local control of school calendars. The resolution cites lengthening school days, summer learning loss and aligning Early College calendars with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Academic Calendar as reasons to allow local boards of education full control of their system’s calendar.
  • Adopting a resolution proposed by the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees in support of the Connect N.C. Bond Act.

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