Ask Us: Where would Rowan-Salisbury Schools get money to rebuild?

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 4, 2019

By Samuel Motley

The Rowan County Board of Commissioners would need to approve funding for any major capital projects, including demolition and rebuilding any schools, in the Rowan-Salisbury School System.

A Salisbury Post reader asked where the school board would get the money to build or rebuild schools in Rowan County. The question was in reference to the consolidation plan currently under consideration.

Josh Wagner, Rowan County school board chair, said funds would be expected to come from the Rowan County Board of Commissioner — a group of five elected representatives who oversee county government.

Wagner said the commission has not yet allocated funding for any closures or consolidations in the RSS system. However, he also said that few details have been finalized at this time and that discussions were ongoing.

Still, Wagner said, all funding comes from the county commission. He said the commission and school system have a funding agreement that includes $.5 million for capital projects, with a majority currently aimed at revamping schools’ HVAC systems. The current allocation for maintaining the schools is 2.6 million, he said.

While the costs of maintaining schools in Rowan are separate from issues relating to renovations and new construction, currently allocated funds are not enough, Wagner said. The school system needs an estimated $5.5 million to keep the schools maintained, he said.

But the school system is looking at ways to reduce costs, too, while also looking toward new projects. Included in a proposal to build a career and technical education high school at Koontz Elementary is a cost-saving measure that would use mostly teachers already employed by RSS along with instructors from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College as needed.