Cabarrus County & City of Kannapolis provide economic development grants for the project
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Beginning next summer, beauty finds a new home. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will relocate their cosmetology program to downtown Kannapolis.
The College’s cosmetology program is one of the largest and most successful in the state, and with the current facility’s lease expiring soon, the College began looking for a larger space.
To assist with this effort, Rowan-Cabarrus has received $1.5 million from Cabarrus County to relocate the program, as well as an additional $150,000 economic development grant from the City of Kannapolis.
The College’s board of trustees approved a resolution in February asking the county for the funds to renovate a facility for its cosmetology and related programs and relocate them from Cloverleaf Plaza in Kannapolis. In May, the College’s board of trustees heard from Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant about the city’s commitment to help relocate the program to downtown Kannapolis, which would bring 250-300 people, including the clients the cosmetology program serves, to the area each day.
“We’ve been looking for a new home for this program for a number of years,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College president. “We want to retain the store front operation as part of the realistic job experience for students.”
“We have one goal in mind, and that’s to make our community better. The secret of reinvigorating downtown is having more people downtown,” said Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant.
“We’re excited about this. We are working hard on economic development,” said Hinnant. “
“We believe this is the first time a city has contributed to a community college capital project,” said Spalding. “We are very grateful for support from the City of Kannapolis. Unlike the county, they’re not required to support us. This may be a first-of-its-kind economic development collaboration.”
Currently housed in three different storefronts of Cloverleaf Plaza, the College’s certified nursing assistant and EMT programs, as well as its extension center, will also move to the new Kannapolis location.
The new location, which was previously a Belk and a towel store, will provide 28,000 square feet for the relocation project.
The existing facility used for the cosmetology program and related associate degree, diploma and certificate programs serves more than 700 community college and Cabarrus County high school students and does not provide adequate instructional and lab space which restricts growth of these programs.
Having a consolidated facility will be less expensive to operate and will create a safer and more secure environment. The College will begin renovations as soon as possible and will move the program in May 2015. The College has signed a 20-year lease.
“I fully support Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, and I believe that the relocation of the cosmetology program will afford training opportunities that will stimulate the economy in Cabarrus County,” said Stephen Morris,
Cabarrus County commissioner and trustee on the Rowan-Cabarrus board. “It’s a win-win-win for everyone.”
“Not only will we get a nice new facility, but we’ll also receive better rates on the lease through this new arrangement with Castle & Cooke,” said Spalding. “We also feel this is an opportunity to reinvigorate a very charming downtown.”
The College has several funding sources for the project that comes to a little over $2 million.
“We have one goal: to provide opportunities to grow – for our citizens, for Rowan-Cabarrus students. We stand ready to hit the ground running,” said Lynne Scott Safrit, president and chief operating officer of Castle & Cooke. “While it’s not life sciences or the nutrition focus that we see on much of the research campus, it helps put people to work. The graduates of the cosmetology program are entrepreneurs, by and large.”
The Rowan-Cabarrus cosmetology program offers associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.
“We teach everything there is to teach about beauty,” said Wanda Pressley-Altman, chair of the program, including instruction on all things hair, skin and nails. “We also teach introduction to small business management and sociology to round out the degree.” Read More