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School board to discuss fate of mobile units

By Andie Foley

The fate of Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ mobile units will inch closer toward being settled Monday as the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education explores a plan for the trailers’ removal. The plan could see the number of existing units reduced by nearly 75% over four years.

Some 88 trailers were listed as existing on Rowan-Salisbury Schools property as of early April. Four of these were scheduled for removal last week.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Anthony Vann on Monday will present a proposal to remove 65 units over the next four years: 18 in 2019-20, 16 each in 2020-21 and 2021-22 and 15 in 2022-23.

The demolitions are estimated at $4,000 each, for a total of $260,000 dedicated to the effort.

Community members and board members have each long questioned the existence and use of the facilities in light of resounding, countywide underutilization. A November-presented consolidation plan proposed the closure of 11 schools to address a growing number of empty seats across the district, offering just three new schools in their place.

Board member Dean Hunter brought this contradiction to light in late March, calling for a report of just how the units were used. The early April report found more than 66% of the units were being used for classroom or office space. More than 20% were used for combined storage and office space or storage alone, with the rest remaining empty.

Though board members and staff remained at an impasse regarding their opinions on trailer use, they agreed to pursue plans to reduce the number of units seen on campuses.

According to Vann, the presented plan on Monday will continue a broad sweeping effort to reduce the number of trailers over the past few years. Previously, there were 142, and 54 have been removed.

In other business from Monday’s agenda:

  • The board could approve two e-Learning days for the 2019-20 school year, one on Sept. 25 and another on Feb. 5.
  • The board will discuss changes in the Community Eligibility Provision Meal Program.

The program is currently providing free breakfast and lunch for all students enrolled at 12 area schools: Overton Elementary, Isenberg Elementary, China Grove Elementary, North Rowan Elementary, Koontz Elementary, Hurley Elementary, Hanford-Dole Elementary, Knox Middle, Knollwood Elementary, North Rowan Middle, Landis Elementary and Henderson Independent.

The federal program requires reapplication every four years and according to Lisa Altmann, school nutrition director, current data shows that two schools no longer meet the required criteria: China Grove and Knollwood Elementary.



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