Commissioners make way for sale of Enochville Elementary, approve purchase of Richard’s Bar-B-Cue
Published 12:10 am Tuesday, June 7, 2022
SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners on Monday afternoon paved the way for Rowan-Salisbury Schools to make two major real estate transactions.
Commissioners approved the district’s plan to purchase Richard’s Bar-B-Que and refused the right to the Enochville Elementary School, allowing the district to move forward with selling the property.
RSS is planning to purchase the property at 522 N. Main St. for $440,000 with a $44,000 deposit. RSS Chief Operations Officer Anthony Vann said the district is keen on buying the land and restaurant building for two main reasons: its convenient location next to the Wallace Educational Forum and the opportunity it gives the district to bolster its culinary curriculum and catering capabilities.
“It is in our parking lot and we see it as a good opportunity to help our foods department and to be able to do some training with our career technical education, our culinary students,” Vann said. “So, we’re very excited about that possibility.”
Commissioner Craig Pierce said he wanted to make it publicly known that Richard Monroe, the owner of Richard’s Bar-B-Que, is selling the land to RSS for $440,000 and is donating the building. That’s information he received directly from Monroe, Pierce said.
While Vann said he didn’t have that information “finalized in my packet,” he said Monroe approached RSS about selling the property because Monroe “would like to see the school system get it.” He noted that Monroe worked with RSS before to divide a small parcel of land between the restaurant and the Wallace Educational Forum.
Caskey said the purchase price seems low. Vann replied that it’s close to the appraised value.
“It is in a great location. It’s just very small,” Vann said. “It’s 0.83 of an acre.”
With approval from commissioners, RSS will now conduct a site survey, inspect the water and sewer on the property, and conduct phase one environmental study before finalizing the property purchase.
Over a year after the Board of Education decided to close Enochville Elementary School and declare the property surplus, commissioners on Monday made way for RSS to sell the property by refusing its transfer. In accordance with North Carolina General Statute, the Board of Education must offer surplus properties to the board of commissioners prior to disposal.
The Board of Education has received a $500,000 purchase offer from Kannapolis-based Fusion City Church. Vann said it’s his understanding that the church plans to utilize the school building, which was constructed in 1941. Tearing down the building, Vann said, would likely cost close to as much as the purchase offer given current fuel and labor prices.
Caskey asked Vann if the Board of Education has any future plans to use the property, to which Vann replied that he has “not gotten any indication they’re interested in utilizing that for anything.”
Caskey also asked Vann if RSS has plans to address growth in the southern part of the county. Vann said the district has contracted with Numerix for the South Carolina-based planning solutions company to conduct a study to help RSS estimate the growth that is coming so the district can “better utilize our facilities.”
“I see the need in the not-so-distant future that we’re going to need some facilities in that part of the county,” Vann said.
Vann said the district explored the idea of building a new structure on the Enochville Elementary property, but his recommendation was to look for a different property on which to build.
“This is 8.44 acres and for today’s guidelines typically that would be pretty small for what we’d need,” Vann said.
With approval from the commissioners, RSS will move forward with initiating the upset bid process by placing an advertisement in the Post. From the time the advertisement is published, any interested parties will have 10 days to make a counter offer.
The appraised value of the Enochville Elementary property is a little over $2 million, according to Vann.
Both the motion to approve the purchase of Richard’s Bar-B-Que and to refuse the transfer of Enochville Elementary were made by 4-0 votes. Chair Greg Edds was not present at the meeting.