Stanly school board says opening Ridgecrest would cost around $10 million

Published 4:36 pm Monday, April 22, 2024

The Stanly County Board of Education released information at the work session April 16 about the estimated costs of reopening Ridgecrest Elementary.

According to a document from Pinnacle Architecture in the agenda packet, the total cost of bringing the school up to code is more than $8 million. An additional $936,000 was included for new school operations costs to staff the school.

Board chair Carla Poplin said one problem with reopening the school is because Ridgecrest “is a property we don’t clearly own.” She said the costs listed above SCS might spend would be “putting into a campus that we don’t have a clear deed to.”

“I myself don’t think that’s the responsible move to make with taxpayer dollars until we figure out where we are with that property,” Poplin said.

SCS Maintenance Director Keith Benton said the estimates are just to bring the building “to code without going in depth” with mechanical and electrical engineers.

Poplin said the number was just to open the doors, while Facilities Committee chair Robin Whitaker said the estimate to open “is not even getting the school where we want it to be. If we ever open that building, it should look like a new building.”

The estimates do not include new cafeteria equipment, new desks and furniture or any work on the playground or gymnasium.

Board member Dustin Lisk noted the Ridgecrest campus is being used by the community. He said a travel ball team rents the gym, and basketball teams for the Locust Parks and Recreation Department practice there. The ball field is used by West Stanly Dixie Youth Softball and travel ball teams, while the West Stanly High wrestling team and an AAU wrestling squad use the cafeteria for practice.

“The notion that the campus is not being used is false. The community does need that space…it’s not abandoned,” Lisk said.

Board member Dr. Rufus Lefler said rumors saying wire and other things having been pulled out of the walls are “not true. It is false.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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