ROCKINGHAM — The property belonging to the former Rohanen Middle School has been sold to the county for $100, but there is no plan to make use of the land at this point, County Manager Bryan Land said Tuesday.
On April 12, the Board of Education passed a resolution declaring the former school “surplus” and “unnecessary for school purposes,” according to a letter addressed to Land from the school board’s attorney. Once named surplus, the school system allowed the county to decide what to do with the property.
“There’s been so many ideas hashed around, nothing is set in stone,” Land said of the future of the property. “This is the first step in the process and then from this point we’ll sit down with different commissioners and hash out all those potential ideas and come to a conclusion.”
Following a feasibility study, the school system decided to transition Rohanen’s students to the Cordova School because it was in “better condition,” according to Superintendent Cindy Goodman. The School Board voted 6 to 1 to close and move the middle school in February 2017.
Rohanen served 309 students at the time of its closing, which is more than 100 fewer than comparable schools in the district and 358 fewer than in comparable schools across the state. The Cordova School, which only served special needs students, had seen its enrollment decline to 57, according to Goodman.
In an email, Goodman said she felt the Cordova School students would be better served merging with the student population of the district. At a public hearing prior to the closing, some parents of special needs students — including now-School Board member Pat Campbell — expressed concern for their children’s safety and well being.
On Monday, star volleyball player Altman Griffin said she decided to change her career path to one where she could help those with special needs after interacting with those who transitioned to Richmond Senior High School.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]