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Loan would allow Kannapolis schools to renovate stadium, CTE facility

By Josh Bergeron
josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Rowan County commissioners on Monday will consider a $1.3 million loan that would allow Kannapolis City Schools to make stadium renovations at A.L. Brown High School and turn an existing building into a career and technical education facility.

The loan would cover a majority of the $1.73 million needed to make the improvements, with Kannapolis schools using capital improvement funding to cover the difference, said Director of Business Operations Will Crabtree.

Crabtree said the CTE building is located across the street from A.L. Brown High School. Once renovated, the center will house HVAC, mechatronics and public safety programs. The total cost is estimated to be $838,000.

Meanwhile renovations at A.L. Brown’s stadium will involve resurfacing the track and adding artificial grass, or turf, to the field. Those upgrades are estimated to cost $892,000.

The stadium project, in particular, has been on the to-do list for years, Crabtree said.

Pending approval from Rowan County commissioners, construction work on both projects could begin in late April or early May, he said.

During their 3 p.m. meeting on Monday at the county administration building — 130 W. Innes St — commissioners will have a public hearing and consider approving a $1.3 million loan from First National Bank, which comes with an interest rate of 2.67 percent. Others submitting financing proposals included BB&T, Signature Public Funding Corp, First Bank and PNC Public Finance. First National Bank’s interest rate was lowest among the five submitting proposals.

While Kannapolis City Schools receives funding from two counties, the loan to be considered Monday will not require approval from Cabarrus County, only Rowan, Crabtree said. While the two counties have collaborated on Kannapolis City Schools projects in the past, typically funding occurs through one county, he said.

In other business:

• Commissioners will receive a request from Rowan-Salisbury Schools to declare surplus three former schools.

Those schools include the former Cleveland and Woodleaf elementary schools as well as the former Patterson School, which is currently used by the Price of Freedom Museum, near China Grove.

Before the school properties are declared surplus, however, commissioners receive the first right of refusal, meaning that they could claim one or more of the former schools before the public.

Already, commissioners have discussed repurposing the former Cleveland Elementary School’s media center into a west Rowan branch of the Rowan Public Library. Fundraising efforts for the west Rowan branch have generated $327,000 of an estimated $670,000 cost for renovations, which would also include renovating the former school’s auditorium into a meeting and events space.

• Commissioners will schedule a March 18 public hearing for a rezoning allowing a Dollar General to be placed at 6225 East NC 152, near Rockwell.

In front of a large crowd in January, the rezoning received approval from the Rowan County Planning Board. A majority of the speakers during that January meeting were opposed to the proposal, which would change a 1.72-acre parcel of land from rural agricultural to commercial, business and industrial, with a conditional district to accommodate a 9,100-square-foot retail store.

Commissioners’ public hearing for March 18 would occur during their regularly scheduled 6 p.m. meeting.

• Commissioners will consider a number of zoning requests.

In the Rowan Summit Shopping Center, located at the corner of Julian Road and Summit Park Drive, a request would reorganize parcels, remove future plans to build a road within the complex and allow a proposed second phase of development to be focused toward industrial projects rather than retail, the Rowan County Planning Board was told in January.

At 2355 Brown Road in China Grove, Dr. Corrie Connolly, a veterinarian, has submitted an application to change a rural agricultural district to a commercial, business and industrial district in order to operate a clinic on site.

In the 800 block of Ritchie Road, near Koontz Elementary and the Summit Corporate Center development, a rezoning would change a 2.18-acre parcel from rural residential to to commercial, business and industrial.

In the 700 and 800 blocks of Kepley Road, a request from Mark Kraus would reduce a 12-acre site zoned manufactured home park to 6.33 acres and change the remaining land to the rural agricultural designation.

At the intersection of Statesville Boulevard and Old U.S. 70 Highway, a request would change a 6.16-acre parcel from industrial to rural residential.

• As part of the consent agenda, Rowan County commissioners are scheduled to give final approval to an agreement providing city and county funds for a Vietnam Veterans Memorial in in Salisbury City Park.

The memorial would receive $10,000 in funding from county government and $5,000 from city government. The agreement states the combined $15,000 would be used to raise the memorial’s height.

Contact editor Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4248.

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