• 50°

County considers $18.93 million West End Plaza proposal

SALISBURY — On Monday, the Rowan County commissioners considered a proposed design for renovating a section ofWest End Plaza to house several agriculture-focused agencies.

The plans were put forth by the firm ADW Architects, of Charlotte, which was hired to create a proposal to move Rowan County Cooperative Extension, the soil and water conservation district, N.C. Forestry Service and the Farm Service Agency to West End Plaza, owned by the county since 2013. The proposal estimated renovation costs to create offices for an “Agricultural Center” at roughly $2.9 million; construction costs for an events space at $7.6 million; and exterior renovations and parking valued at roughly 5.1 million.

ADW offered a proposal for exterior renovations and parking elsewhere at West End Plaza, valued at roughly $3.2 million, during its Monday presentation. This would include traffic circles, sidewalks and exterior upfits in its design not found in Option 1.

If the county chooses to pursue all options, the cost would be $18.93 million.

If the county decided to pursue Options 1 and Option 2, it could execute them in phases, commissioners Chairman Greg Edds said in an interview.

Commissioner Craig Pierce raised concerns during the meeting about the proposed costs, saying, “I am not against the plan (for West End Plaza). I am just against that much money all at one time.”

“We are putting out money for the schools that same year,” Pierce said.

Pierce went on to say he would like to have more information about how the county could fund the West End Plaza project. Other commissioners echoed that sentiment.

Commissioner Judy Klusman said most of the feedback she has received related to West End Plaza focused on when commissioners are going to do something. Klusman also raised concerns about parking at West End Plaza in its current state, saying it is incredibly dangerous.

Klusman agreed that commissioners should have a workshop.

Commissioner Mike Caskey echoed that opinion in an interview after the meeting, saying he feels the progress with West End Plaza project is going slow. And, in the meeting, Caskey added that the idea of a workshop on the topic is a good idea.

The workshop is smart, Edds said.

Commissioners tabled further discussion on ADW’s design proposals for an “open house,” which will be held after their 3 p.m. Aug. 5 meeting. The open house would be followed by a budget workshop later that week.

In other business: 

• The commissioners voted unanimously to accept the low bidder ––STI Institutional and Government — to fund capital improvements for Rowan-Salisbury Schools and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

The amount by STI to be financed is $7.1 million at an interest rate of 2.04%. No one spoke during a public hearing on the matter.

• The board voted unanimously to move $420,000 out of “contingency” to fund the Rowan County Rescue Squad.

• The commissioners voted unanimously to give Chandler Concrete a temporary, 12-month permit to build a concrete batch plant on Long Ferry Road. The plant will provide material for Chewy.com’s distribution plant at 255 Front Creek Road.

• The board voted unanimously to change an approved tax incentive agreement with “Project Care” to include a description of an adjacent parcel the company has acquired.

This change was made “since a portion of their proposed improvements will take place on the newly acquired land,” says a letter from Scott Shelton, vice president of the Rowan Economic Development Commission.

Contact reporter Samuel Motley at 704-797-4264.



Blotter: Man accused of stealing car, crashing it


Man faces new charge of attempted murder for father’s shooting


Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits


Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker


Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank


North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys


Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools


Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house


Quotes of the week


Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid


When will gas situation return to normal?


Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart


GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire


Black high school softball player told to cut hair


State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan


CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors


One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday


Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases


‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack


Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store


Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem


West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant