Voters will decide on a bond that will fund higher education, parks and other infrastructure; Rowan-Cabarrus would utilize funds for facility improvements and public safety expansion
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — As part of a statewide infrastructure bond slated to come before voters on March 15, 2016, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College would receive $7.2 million to upgrade facilities and grow the College’s Fire & Emergency Services Training Facility.
Governor Pat McCrory 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, the largest of which proposes developing Phase II of the North Campus Fire & Emergency Service Training Facility, will help Rowan-Cabarrus continue to train the local workforce to meet employer demands.
“Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has been continuously working on much-needed renovations over the last few years. In order to educate and train our students for the demanding opportunities available in today’s high-tech job market, we must update some of our existing facilities,” 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.”
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 II of the Fire & Emergency Services Training Facility, including building a five-story fire training tower, a law enforcement and emergency services tactical training center an outdoor classroom shelter and modern restroom facilities. The College’s fire training programs have experienced growth in recent years – growing 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 & Emergency Services Training Facility. As the first of the bond-funded projects to be completed, this training facility has been heavily utilized by our public safety providers in Rowan and Cabarrus County.
“The value added to fire, emergency and law enforcement agencies through funding of this project is clear—ready access to state-of-the-art facilities to support ongoing training of current agency personnel and new recruits to feed increasing demand,” said Spalding.
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 co-chairing 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.”
The vote is set to take place on March 15, 2016. If it passes, it will mark 15 years since the last general obligation bond was authorized to upgrade the state’s infrastructure. Rowan-Cabarrus has evolved significantly to meet the needs of the workforce, and funding from the bond will assist the College in upgrading 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 supporting new and existing programs that will position our graduates for lucrative careers.”
For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu/apply2016 or call 704-216-RCCC (7222). The College is currently registering students for four-week and eight-week spring term classes that begin in March and April.