Commissioners transfer land to RCCC to expand truck driving program

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, October 18, 2023

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners approved a land transfer to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College during their meeting on Monday. The new that will allow the school to build a track specially made for various driving programs.

The land transfer included around 25 acres between the college’s Salisbury campus and the fairgrounds, which will be given to the school for free. RCCC President Carol Spalding spoke at the meeting and said that the school plans to build a track specially made for larger vehicles. The school has been holding their driving programs in the West End Plaza parking lot.

“We’ve been couch surfing with this program for a long time. We lived at the old Intimidators stadium for a long time, we currently live in the West End Plaza parking lot. Having a dedicated space like this will allow us to grow the program,” said Vice-President Craig Lamb.

Spalding and Lamb said that the school mainly plans to use the new land to assist in their truck driving program. They also plan to use it for training for emergency services drivers. RCCC is currently the state’s largest certifier of firefighter driver licenses, according to Lamb.

The school hopes to expand the program to keep up with newly created jobs that are projected to come to Rowan County because of companies building distribution centers and warehouses.

“With the 22 million square feet of speculative space under development and consideration along our section of I-85 here in Rowan County, we know those will likely be manufacturing and logistics facilities. Every one of them needs to have stuff brought in and stuff they get out and so that traffic will only increase and the demand for drivers will increase as well,” said Lamb.

Spalding took the opportunity to speak about the success of the truck driver training program during the meeting as well. She said that students who graduate the program have companies on a waiting list to offer them jobs. She also said that the starting salary was around $60,000.

Commissioner chairman Greg Edds said that he had heard reports that repeatedly driving trucks in the West End Plaza parking lot had led to the concrete breaking down. Lamb told the board that the new training track will be made specifically to handle larger trucks driving continuously and the intensive training emergency vehicles have to endure.

Commissioner Jim Greene noted that the college has agreed to let the fairgrounds continue to use the area for parking. Previously, the county had leased the area out to the fair.

At the end of Lamb and Spalding’s presentation, the board voted unanimously to approve the land transfer.