School board to discuss possible West Branch library

Published 12:05 am Sunday, March 25, 2018

SALISBURY — There may still be some life in the old Cleveland Elementary building. The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education on Monday will hear a proposal about turning part of the soon-to-be-shuttered school into a western branch of the Rowan Public Library.

The school is expected to close next year, once the new Western Elementary — built in its back yard — opens in December 2018. The bulk of the building will likely be demolished, but now community members are stepping up to ask the board to spare a portion of it. According to the board’s agenda, the school’s media center could be turned into a small public library.

The media center is a recent addition to the rest of the school, which is nearly 100 years old, and has its own separate mechanical system. Currently, Cleveland and the West Rowan Community have a small, one-room library which functions on an honor system. There is no space in the small shed-like building for employees, or to run library programs.

Transforming the old media center into a library would do more than provide books and programs, however. It would also provide West Rowan residents with free access to the internet — an often scarce or unreliable resource in the area. According to the agenda, this would cut down the travel distance many West Rowan residents have to drive access free internet by five to six miles.

The proposal also suggests repurposing the old auditorium to a community meeting space.

The Board of Education will meet Monday in the Wallace Educational Forum board room, 500 N. Main St. The meeting will begin at 4 p.m. with closed session. Celebrations will be held at 5 p.m. and public comment at 6 p.m.

In other business the board:

  • Will receive its 2016-17 audit report.
  • Discuss a March 29 planning retreat.
  • Look at Achieve3000 data from Landis Elementary.
  • Receive an update on Orton-Gillingham literacy and phonics training.