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School board to look at new rappel tower for South Rowan

SALISBURY — South Rowan High School could be getting a new rappelling tower for its JROTC program. The topic is up for consideration at Monday’s Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education work session, and board members may choose to approve the proposal then and there.

Until January, the school was home to one of the district’s two rappel towers. But around midnight on Jan. 10, the structure collapsed during a fire of undetermined origins. Maj. Bill Lowe, who heads JROTC classes at South, said the tower was a core feature to the program. It is one of the first obstacles a cadet is required to overcome when they join JROTC, and teaches confidence and triumph over fear.

At the time, Lowe and the cadets were unsure if the structure would be rebuilt. But according to Monday’s agenda, the tower was insured. The school system filed insurance claims following the fire, and has received replacement value for a similar structure.

But there’s a lot of work to be done if the 40-foot tower is to be rebuilt. According to the agenda, the tower’s stairs and handrails need to be fully replaced, in addition to several other features.

In other business the board will:

  • Discuss the 2018-19 school calendar.
  • Receive an update about possible options for home school students to take district courses.
  • Discuss dates for summer school and end of year exam makeups.

The board will meet Monday at 1 p.m. in the Wallace Educational Forum board room, 500 N. Main St.

— Rebecca Rider

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