The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

October 17, 2012

Board gets update on Tarheel ChalleNGe

By Jason O'Boyd, Staff Writer

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 — Badin received information last Tuesday on Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy and its plans to open a western branch in Badin. Michael Noble, western region recruiter, presented a near eight-minute video that explained what the organization was about.

Tarheel ChalleNGe Aca-demy plans to open the branch in the next 2-3 years at the location of the Badin National Guard Armory. Harrison said about $7 million in repairs and renovations will need to be made to the facility to bring it up to code so it passes final inspection before the branch can be open.

Tar Heel ChalleNGe Academy is a branch of the National Guard and has been working for 19 years in Salemburg with troubled and at-risk youth. It’s website says it’s objective is “to improve the life-coping skills and employment potential of high school dropouts or expelees so that they may become productive members of their communities and society in general.”

“It’s super,” Harrison said.

“It was 4-5 years ago that they came and sat right here and we discussed it. They’ve been at Salemburg, and it’s a little bit smaller than what they plan to do here.

“The nicest thing is it’s not just a win-win for kids who had problems with their father, step-father, didn’t have proper parenting, it gives them a second chance at life. I think it’s a wonderful thing, but it also helps the county.”

Noble said the Salemburg location has around 120 students currently enrolled. It can hold up to 160. When completed, the Badin facility is scheduled to be able to take on around 500 students a year, 250 for each half-year cycle. It will also employ around 145 people.

“That’s the best part about it, that at-risk kids get a second shot at life,” Harrison said.

“But it is also an economic boost for the county, which needs it.”

Other issues brought up in the meeting:

Minutes of last meeting were approved;

Reports were given about code enforcement, water and sewer, police, public works and financial along with a town manager’s report;

The town’s clean-up week will be held Monday to Thursday. Residents can put out appliances, tires, rims, old furniture or other items they wish to have picked up. Those items must be put out by noon on Thursday. Items must be separated, and cardboard, household trash, brush or other items that are accepted at the convenience center will not be picked up.