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Statewide infrastructure bond would provide $7.2 million to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

Feb. 3.  Rowan-Cabarrus Community College would receive $7.2 million to upgrade and construct facilities as part of a statewide infrastructure bond slated to come before voters on March 15.

Governor Pat McCrory recently signed a bill that will allow voters to decide on the passage of the 2016 Connect NC Bond Act that will fund higher education, parks, agricultural initiatives, state parks, National Guard and water and sewer projects.

North Carolina community colleges would receive $350 million of the nearly $2 billion bond, with a portion of the funds going to all 58 colleges.  Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is set to receive $7.2 million of those funds to upgrade and construct facilities to offer state-of-the-art learning experiences for the citizens of Cabarrus and Rowan Counties.  These enhancements will help Rowan-Cabarrus continue to train the local workforce to meet employer demands.

“Rowan-Cabarrus Community College needs new and refurbished facilities to educate and train our students for the demanding opportunities available in today’s high-tech job market,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.  “This bond would not only benefit our students, but it will benefit our local businesses and communities as a whole.”

Locally, if the bond passes, the college currently plans to use about $3.2 million on renovations to North Campus Buildings 100, 200, 500 and 700.

In keeping with the commitment to train the public safety officers in the region, the college would also dedicate an additional $1 million for phase two of the fire and emergency services training facility, which would include a training tower, tactical training facility for law enforcement, an outdoor classroom with restrooms, and a needed extension to the sewer and water line.  The college’s fire training programs grew 13 percent between 2012 and 2014.

“We realize the enormous importance of the public safety officials who protect our community and keep us safe every day.  Ensuring that they receive high-quality training is of the utmost importance,” said Spalding.  “We know that we need to continue to strengthen this new facility by expanding it to its full potential.”

As part of the 2010 Rowan County bond referendum, the college directed its first attention to building the new fire and emergency services training facility.  As the first of the bond-funded projects to be completed, this training facility has been receiving heavy use for about 18 months.

In Cabarrus County, the college would allocate another $3 million toward expansions to the South Campus and Cabarrus Business and Technology Center facilities, including the remodel of the South Campus student center and property for future campus expansions.

“The passing of this bond would mean significant savings to the people of Rowan and Cabarrus counties,” said Trustee Dakeita Vanderburg-Johnson, who is leading the college’s local support for the bond effort.  “The bond would fund ongoing, much-needed improvements for the college that may otherwise have to come out of the budgets of both counties.”

If the infrastructure bond passes, it will mark 15 years since the last general obligation bond was authorized to upgrade our state’s infrastructure.  Rowan-Cabarrus has grown and evolved significantly since then.  Funding from the bond will help the college upgrade facilities to meet the needs of the community.

“Every improvement we’ve identified supports our students and their needs,” said Spalding.  “This bond would allow us to continue building for the future and adding new programs that will position our graduates for lucrative careers.”


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