SHS gym addition almost complete; wrestling club will move into abandoned building owned by RSS

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 29, 2021

SALISBURY — The gym addition to Salisbury High School is expected to be ready for students this fall.

Rob Woodruff of Charlotte firm ADW Architects told the Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education about progress on the project on Monday. The project is being constructed by Winston-Salem-based W.C. Construction for $888,000.

Construction began in August. The 2,800-square-foot addition is dominated by additional fitness space to be filled with weight and cardio training equipment. The flooring is antimicrobial rubber. There is open air flow in the space and custom school logos on the walls.

Woodruff said the facility should be ready for equipment in the next few weeks and ready to use by the time classes start in August. He said the project will be a great addition to the school’s athletic facilities.

District Chief Operations Officer Anthony Vann said the addition was largely funded by donations. More than 250 people contributed to the project.

Vann also spoke to the school board about a wrestling club interested in using a vacant building RSS owns.

The building is a 40-by-60-foot cinder block structure that sits on a 35-acre parcel off China Grove Road.

The district does not maintain or use the building. Vann said “nature has reclaimed” it. If the district were to build on the property in the future, the structure would be demolished.

Reaper’s Realm Wrestling Club, a growing organization, interested in leasing the facility and offered to repair it in exchange for a year’s rent.

The club intends to pressure wash the entire building, install an HVAC system with a licensed contractor, have a licensed plumber repair the plumbing to the building, create a gravel parking lot, paint the building and fix any other known problems. Vann said the HVAC would be propane-powered because it currently has no power.

Board member Dean Hunter said he has been in contact with the club and believes they have the means to make the repairs.

Because many of the district’s lease agreements are short-term, they are broken out by day, but this situation is different. Vann spoke to a real estate expert who has done appraisals for the district in the past and was told the lease value on the property would be “minimal.” The repair costs would be $5,000-6,000 for the district. Vann said the amount of rent the district would set would be less than the cost to make the building usable.

The board approved a motion by member Travis Allen to negotiate a two-year lease agreement with the club.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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