• 64°

Editorial: For now, no deal on Faith Elementary

The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education may end up spending money rather than making a few bucks on Faith Elementary School.

Following the necessary, slow-moving path of government, the school board and system staff didn’t move quick enough for Faith Academy, which is counting down the days until doors are scheduled to open for the new charter school. To ensure it can serve students in the fall and free up cash to settle on a plan, the charter school’s board on Monday night rescinded an offer for Faith Elementary. It may not mean the end of talks for the elementary school property, but it will be a while before Faith Academy is able to make an offer again.

In December, Faith Academy’s interest in the soon-to-be-closed elementary school became public. Its interest may have kick-started a process during which the building gets declared “surplus” by the school board and county commissioners. But the kick-start didn’t get things moving fast enough for a school that needs to welcome students in a few months.

Now in February, the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education is getting the building appraised. Faith Academy is moving forward with mobile units.

Barring an unlikely reversal, there are no other immediate suitors. Schools, particularly ones like Faith Elementary with additions since initial construction, are traditionally too awkwardly shaped for any other use than a school. Even if developers think creatively, they will consider previous reporting that the facility is in need of upgrades. The tax value is $2.5 million, but the estimated cost of needed repairs is even larger.

Faith Academy would be able to make use of the facility immediately while knowing upgrades are needed. Other developers will need time, money and a rezoning before they can make use of the building.

In a school system budget that’s close to $200 million, Faith Elementary School is unlikely to sell for a price that financially significant for the district. In fact, without a deal, the school could end up costing RSS the same or more than a sale would have generated. So, it’s advantageous for Rowan-Salisbury Schools to try to make a deal work, even if it occurs months in the future.

There now are two predictable fates for Faith Elementary: Rowan-Salisbury Schools is forced to demolish the building because it cannot wait for future interest or board members decide it’s worth waiting. The latter of the two may be difficult to stomach for some, but community-minded school board members and public pressure may keep the building, or parts of it, standing for a while longer.

At a minimum, if the school board decides demolition is more attractive, it should return to commissioners to see whether they want to save parts of the building for community use — similar to the former Cleveland Elementary School.

Comments

Health

Salisbury City Council will return to virtual meetings, require face masks in city buildings

Landis

Landis goes big with two helicopters for National Night Out

Local

Spencer and East Spencer join forces for National Night Out

Local

City Council approves Grants Landing development on Rowan Mill Road

Education

In lighter-than-usual year, RSS nutrition staff serve more than 100,000 summer meals

Nation/World

CDC issues new eviction ban for most of US through Oct. 3

Nation/World

Pushback challenges vaccination requirements at US colleges

News

More North Carolinians getting COVID shot amid Delta variant

Crime

Appeals court tosses China Grove man’s murder conviction, citing lack of evidence

Crime

Two men charged with robbing, killing Gold Hill woman

David Freeze

Day 8 for Freeze brings trooper, tunnel and more climbing

Education

Back to School: A message from RSS Superintendent Tony Watlington

Education

Salisbury’s colleges take different approaches to COVID-19 vaccinations

Coronavirus

Back to school: COVID-19 in RSS, K-12 schools

Local

Rowan County commissioners approve agreement for millions in opioid settlement funding

High School

Fall sports: Official practice begins

News

Nancy Stanback remembered for compassion, philanthropy

News

David Freeze: Finally a day that met expectations

Education

Back to School: Getting to know RSS schools

Education

Back to school: From public to charter, Faith Elementary won’t miss a beat

News

Threat of rising evictions looms in North Carolina

Nation/World

US hits 70% vaccination rate — a month late, amid a surge

Education

Turbyfill remembered for years working to help students

Local

Blotter: Shots fired when motorcycle club tries to kick member out