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County assumes ownership of Erwin Middle School as collateral for loan

SALISBURY – The Rowan County commissioners have given final approval to a loan to make capital improvements to Rowan-Salisbury Schools facilities and plan to use Erwin Middle School as collateral.

The $7.1 million loan through STI Institutional and Government Inc. was approved at a July board meeting. It will be a 10-year loan.

The tax value of Erwin Middle School, located at 170 St. Luke Church Road, stands at $7.4 million.

The money will be used to improve facilities for Rowan-Salisbury Schools and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

To use the school as collateral, the county will take ownership of the building and lease it back to the school system. That will not have any effect on daily operations.

Derrick Atkins, the county’s internal auditor, said Erwin Middle School will continue to function as a normal school and there will be no changes to the school except for renovations to its heating and air conditioning systems.

“Several agreements for it will be put in place between the county and the school to ensure that they will be able to operate normally as a school, as it always has been,” Atkins said.

County Manager Aaron Church said the loan and transfer of ownership are a routine course of business in the framework of taking out a loan.

“A part of what the loan is being used for is HVAC renovations at Erwin Middle School and several other schools within the Rowan-Salisbury school system. … Each school will benefit from getting that HVAC upgrade,” Atkins said.

According to Atkins, part of the $7.1 million loan will cover the following HVAC renovations at county schools:

• Rooftop units at Landis Elementary School, Erwin Middle School and Knollwood Elementary School.

• Chiller replacements at West Rowan Middle School, Mount Ulla Elementary School, South Rowan High School, China Grove Middle School, Bostian Elementary School, China Grove Middle School and Corriher-Lipe Middle School.

• China Grove Elementary School.

• Units at North Rowan High School.

• Gym HVAC work at West Rowan High School.

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