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County permit data show residential growth in RSS school zones

By Josh Bergeron
josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — In what’s scheduled to be a jam-packed meeting, the Rowan-Salisbury School Board on Monday will receive a presentation showing residential growth trends by school attendance zones and discuss consolidation and redistricting.

Compiled by the Rowan County Planning Department, maps in the presentation show residential permit activity by high school, middle school and elementary school districts. The data are a total of residential permits and do not necessarily mean the homes in question have school-aged children living in them.

Kannapolis City Schools are excluded from the presentation to be given Monday.

A memo to Chairman Josh Wagner and school board members states the presentation was requested by Superintendent Lynn Moody. During the school board’s meeting at 1 p.m. in Wallace Educational Forum at 500 N. Main St., Planning Department staff will provide observations on residential growth trends from 2010 to 2018 in comparison to school enrollment and perspective on anticipated commercial and industrial growth.

Maps posted online with Monday’s agenda show that the East Rowan and South Rowan have the highest residential permit activity from 2010 to 2018 among high school districts, with 694 and 667 permits issued, respectively. West Rowan and Carson are in the middle, with 568 and 537 permits issued, respectively; and Salisbury and North Rowan high school districts are at the bottom in terms of residential permit activity, with 259 and 234 permits issued, respectively.

A similar story is true at the middle school level, where the top districts for residential permit activity were Erwin, covering much of east Rowan; China Grove; and West Rowan — with 718, 515 and 525 permits issued, respectively. Corriher-Lipe and Southeast middle schools fell in the middle, with 407 and 396 permits issued, respectively. Knox and North Rowan middle schools were at the bottom, with 164 and 234 permits issued, respectively.

Among Rowan-Salisbury’s many elementary schools, Millbridge, with 266, saw the largest number of residential permits issued from 2010 to 2018. Close behind were Granite Quarry and Landis, with 258 and 266 permits issued, respectively.

The slowest growth area, according to residential permits, is Overton Elementary School’s district, with just 28 issued from 2010 to 2018. Close behind were North Rowan Elementary School’s district, with 53 permits issued, and Isenberg Elementary, with 70.

Isenberg Elementary is the only district in which an overwhelming majority of the permits issued from 2010 to 2018 came in a single year. That occurred in 2011, when 56 residential permits were approved.

Immediately after the presentation from Rowan County Planning Department, the school board is scheduled to discuss consolidation and redistricting. There are not specific details included in Monday’s agenda about which schools or areas will be discussed during consolidation and redistricting talk.

In other business on Monday’s agenda:

• The school board will receive a presentation about renovating Koontz Elementary School and turning into a CTE and Early College school.

The plan would add classrooms for specific professions, including: plumbing, masonry, HVAC, electrical work, drafting, carpentry, nursing, computer programming, culinary arts, early childhood education, and transportation and logistics.

The plan to be presented Monday will propose a new metal building be added to Koontz that contains a number of the career-specific classrooms, according to Monday’s agenda. The school would also budget for approximately 750 students.

The total construction cost is estimated at $9.09 million.

Career and Technical Education Director Mandy Mills and Assistant Superintendent for Operations Anthony Vann are scheduled to give the Koontz presentation.

• Following the Mills’ and Vann’s presentation, the school board is scheduled to enter closed session to discuss an unspecified personnel matter.

• The school board will hear a presentation about HVAC systems in need of repair or replacement across the district and consider selecting Moseley Architects for mechanical engineering design work.

The total cost of the work is estimated to be $8.02 million.

• The school board is also set to learn about two proposals to renovate Knox Middle School.

One would simple involve renovating the school as a middle school. Another, more expensive proposal is to turn Knox Middle School into a K-8 facility.

Renovating it while leaving it Knox Middle School is estimated to cost $40.28 million, according to Monday’s agenda. Turning it into a K-8 school is estimated to cost $52.8 million.

• The school board will consider a policy amendment relating to student assignment.

Contact editor Josh Bergeron 704-797-4248.

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