Salisbury Academy will use grant to make stormwater, drainage improvements near campus

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 10, 2021

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Salisbury Academy will use a stormwater grant authorized by the City Council last week to make improvements and mitigate flooding issues near its campus.

Though the city is only tasked with maintaining drainage systems within the public rights-of-way, the grant comes from the Public Works Storm Drain Incentive Grant Program, which was started by the city in 1996 as a way to assist with the cost of making drainage improvements on private property that also benefits the public. Through the grant program, the city can also fund 50% of the engineering and design costs if they’re necessary for the project. 

Salisbury Academy’s grant from the city is $22,450, which is a 50% match for the project’s overall cost. Improvements will be made at 1801 Bellevue Road, adjacent to Salisbury Academy’s location at 2210 Jake Alexander Blvd. North.

Head of School Beverly Fowler said hurricanes and heavy rainfall over the previous few years have brought to light opportunities to redirect water flow on campus. Before installing additional drainage and making improvements near the soccer fields on campus a few years ago, water would flood into the backdoors of the school, Fowler said.

The grant will help the school cover the costs of grading along the front of the building and pouring a new sidewalk that allows for proper flow away from the building. Additionally, a new storm system would be installed on the roof downspouts, resulting in water running away from the building into the existing stormwater infrastructure. The city will assist in making the improvements.

“This grant will allow us to redirect water on that area of our campus and prevent those issues,” Fowler said. “We’re thankful for the city’s expertise and partnership.”

A total of $25,000 was allocated in the 2021-22 fiscal year budget for the grant program. Private property owners are required to apply for the grant, and all proposed projects and improvements must be expected to last at least 10 years.

In November 2019, the city contracted with HDR Engineering to analyze and develop a strategy for the city’s stormwater needs. During a city council meeting in September 2020, the city said an area that “wasn’t on the radar” but may be of priority includes Wellington Hills Circle, which is where at least six people were rescued from their homes after heavy rainfall near the subdivision and Sacred Heart Catholic School, all part of an area off North Jake Alexander Boulevard near Salisbury Academy.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.