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Letter: Use ‘renewal’ to fix capital needs issue

I am commenting on the “growing capital needs” issue raised by the Rowan-Salisbury School Board and staff.

After reading what information has been given to us by the board on the internet, I found that assessments of the “problems” were made in 2014, nearly five years ago.

The most recent U.S. Census says that Rowan County is growing at a 1.4% rate as of 2018, which projects that 2,000 people per year are expected to be added to the population.

That is before the Interstate 85 widening project has been completed.

According to the most recent census data, Rowan County just got back to its 2010 level of population in 2015.

In the past five years Rowan County has seen a Marriott, Holiday Inn Express and, now, a Hilton Hotel built in Salisbury. I do not think that these businesses build hotels without doing a great deal of research into the future of their businesses.

Having 4,467 empty seats would be a blessing for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System and should be looked at as a blessing for the RSS because the “renewal “ initiative given to RSS by the legislature gives it a great opportunity to prepare for what is coming when the I-85 widening project is completed.

So, how to proceed? Simply using the “charter school flexibility” given by the North Carolina Legislature, choose one school at a time and consolidate those students whereever they want to go temporarily until their old school is renovated or replaced.

Then, they get to return to their new school and another school would renovated or replaced in the same manner.

This allows the school system to use budget flexibility to renovate or replace the 60% of schools said to be in need replacing over the next six to 10 years and not cause undue hardships.

— Steven Arey

Salisbury

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