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School board has much to discuss Monday

By Rebecca Rider
rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education will look to the future during its Monday business meeting.

According to its agenda, the board will spend the evening meeting discussing issues such as principal pay, starting up a greenhouse at Salisbury High School and discussing the possibility of a technical school.

The board will consider and further discuss a proposal presented by Dr. Lynn Moody at its Aug. 14 work session to increase principal pay. A salary study conducted in 2016 determined that Rowan-Salisbury principals made an average $5,000 less than neighboring districts.

The new proposal would award salary supplements based on the number of years a principal remained with the district, whether they functioned as a community principal and if they manned an at-risk school. Should it be approved, the proposal is expected to cost roughly $300,000 — though all but $24,000 of that would be unfunded.

Salisbury High School senior Autumn Ulrich has also submitted a proposal to the board. According to the agenda, Ulrich hopes to build a greenhouse on the grounds of Salisbury High School for her senior project and Girl Scout Gold Award project.

According to Ulrich, while Salisbury High has a strong S.T.E.M. program, it lacks both green areas and places where students can have hands-on lessons. Ulrich said she hopes to get local companies to donate much of what will be needed, but estimated that if not, the building may cost approximately $42,000 — an amount she plans to try to raise through sponsors and grants.

The board will also discuss the potential cost of creating a centralized technical school for the district. The idea was proposed earlier this year, and Career and Technical Education staff were directed to find out how much it might cost should the district pursue the idea.

A presentation put together by staff compares what nearby technical schools cost their school districts. Iredell-Statesville’s technical school cost roughly $9.6 million between purchase price and renovations. Alamance-Burlington’s school was built new, and cost roughly $5.8 million.

Staff estimate that new construction for a Rowan-Salisbury technical school could cost as much as $17.8 million for a 60,000 square-foot building on 15 acres. Renovating an existing school building, on the other hand, might cost between $7.8 and $10.5 million.

But a technical school would allow the district to host most of its career programs at a single location, as well as offering opportunities for new programs. Suggested programs in the agenda include: advanced manufacturing, architecture and construction, automotive technology, culinary arts, computer and network engineering, global logistics, nursing, biotechnology and public safety.

In other business, the board:

  • Will discuss its start meeting time.
  • Receive an update from its capital needs committee.
  • Consider approving a recommendation to name the new western elementary school West Rowan Elementary.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

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