Elkin Elementary School will be getting its first student resource officer which will be funded 10 months of the year by a two-year grant awarded to the Elkin City Schools. Elkin town officials agreed to pay for the remaining two years for the officers position, which in the summer would assist with police department duties.
Dr. Myra Cox, superintendent of Elkin City Schools, announced the grant award Monday during the Elkin Board of Commissioners meeting along with her request that the town hire an officer to fill the SRO position. The grant is for $28,000, with the local school board matching $14,000.
Town Manager Brent Cornelison said the town’s portion of the salary would be about $8,466. He said it will take a month or two for the officer to be hired since the town did just hire a couple of new officers to fill vacancies within the department.
Once the two-month school safety grant funding from the Department of Public Instruction ends, Cox said she hopes the school board and town officials can come to some agreement to keep the officer in place as an SRO.
At present, Elkin City Schools has just one SRO, Kevin Hall, who splits his time on the joint campus of Elkin Middle and High schools. Cox said when the elementary school has a need, they also will call for him.
The town commissioners approved the hiring of an SRO for the elementary school following Cox’s presentation and request.
Chamber move coming
The Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce could be moving into the future heritage and trails center soon after Sept. 1, after the town board gave approval for Cornelison to enter into a month-by-month lease for space at the building. Already, Surry Community College will be teaching classes in the large multi-use room in the building as early as this week.
“They’re ready to move in Sept. 1,” Cornelison said of the chamber following a meeting between Commissioners Cicely McCulloch and Jeff Eidson, Cornelison and the chamber board of directors recently.
While the commissioners unanimously gave the approval for the lease, Commissioner Skip Whitman said he really didn’t want to see the building open to the public without any exhibits or displays showcased in the space. “That center needs to make a loud, clear statement about Elkin. We can’t lose sight of how important it is to bringing people to Elkin,” he said.
Eidson said it would be very apparent in the space that it is solely office space for the chamber and that the heritage center exhibits are on their way.
McNeill building coming down
After spending the last couple of months investigating the possibility of saving the McNeill building, which sits on property on South Bridge Street by the railroad tracks, Mount Airy developer Gene Rees gave word to town officials that is beyond salvaging.
Town officials already had given instructions that the building be demolished earlier this year, but in a last ditch effort, they reached out to Rees to see if historic tax credits would make it work saving and turning into something like a boutique hotel.
While Rees was not available for Monday’s meeting, he did send word through Cornelison that there is no way to salvage the building without losing all of its historic tax credits.
George Crater, Elkin planning director, did note that property owner, Mack McNeill, has met with JW Demolition officials, who are handling the piece-by-piece demolition Chatham Manufacturing property, to see about salvaging some of the McNeill building elements for some other use.
Whitman said he’d love to see some of the bricks from the McNeill building saved and reused.
Crater noted that as of now, McNeill will be paying for the demolition of the structure, but on a timeline set by town officials.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.