Viticulture moving on up at SCC

First Posted: 11/9/2009

DOBSON Anyone driving near the campus of Surry Community College can see the progress of the North Carolina Center for Viticulture and Enology.
According to Vice President of Administrative Services Susan Pendergrafts report at Monday nights Board of Trustees meeting, work is progressing nicely on the structure. Some of the steel has been erected and some of the stonework is going up. She also said that the number of change orders has decreased, meaning the crews have hit their stride and are not encountering many problems.
The end date has been pushed back a week to accommodate bad weather and is now set for the first or second week in June.
The board was also asked to revisit a lease with the Surry County School System in regards to the six-acre vineyard used by the viticulture program. The land, which sits behind the Surry Central High School football stadium and extends down the hill to the Dobson wastewater treatment plant, is leased from the school system for $1 per year on an 18-month rolling lease agreement.
Because it takes four or five years for grape vines to mature for use with wine, the college wants to change that agreement. The proposal from the college, which has been drawn up by Board Attorney Fred Johnson, calls for a five-year rolling lease with two successive five-year terms automatically unless one of the parties is unsatisfied.
With the boards approval Monday, the lease will now be presented to the Surry County Board of Education for approval.
The grand opening for Uptown Wine and Gallery, which will be at 240 E. Main St. in Yadkinville, has been scheduled for Dec. 12.
The facility will open a tasting room for the schools viticulture and enology program as well as a space to display student artwork. The board approved a lease with the Yadkin Valley Arts Council and River Divine Vineyard.
To get the ball rolling on the facility, SCC construction students have begun work on a red oak tasting bar while the graphic design department is working on creating signage for the facility.

CLEAR projects ready to get started
The Centers for Learning, Education and Retraining in Pilot Mountain and Elkin, which are being partially funded by the Golden LEAF grant, are ready to move forward, according to presentations to the Board of Trustees Monday night.
We have those funds and we have been working diligently, said Dr. George Sappenfield, vice president of corporate and continuing education, as a way of introduction.
The mayors of both Pilot Mountain and Elkin as well as the architects for the two projects were at the meeting to speak of their respective buildings.
The Elkin CLEAR project will be located in a shopping center which once housed a Food Lion and sits behind the Rite Aid near where the new N.C. 268 runs into the town.
There is a plan for around 22,000 to 23,000 square feet of usable space for the center. Mayor Lestine Hutchens has worked to raise $607,000, including the Golden LEAF money, of the around $1 million needed to complete the project.
Under an agreement reached with the Surry County Board of Commissioners and the town of Elkin, the town would be responsible for the upkeep of the outside of the facility and renting out the additional space. SCC would be responsible for maintaining the inside of the facility. The county would own the property.
We hope to be in it by May, but you know Im over-enthusiastic, said Hutchens. We hope to start work in January, and we think it is a four-month project.
There are 115 classes offered by SCC in Elkin now and the hope is that many of those will be able to move into the new building which will have spaces to accommodate a nursing program and a GED program among other things.
The Pilot Mountain CLEAR project is set to begin construction on Monday with a completion date some time in March. The Pilot Center, as it has been named, will be located at 612 E. Main St. in an old textile building. The building offers more than 100,000 square feet of space to allow for potential expansion down the road.
The facility will include space for nursing and GED classes as well as being the site of the Agriculture Center. The Ag Center is designed as a space where local farmers can take their products to sell online to area restaurants. According to Mayor Earl Sheppard, there is already an active interest among area farmers to pursue working with this center and the Surry County School System has also expressed interest in it.
We as a board owe our gratitude and thanks to the county commissioners. Without the county commissioners, none of this would have been possible, said Dan Stone, SCC board vice chair.

In other news
Controller and Chief Financial Officer Tony Martin reported that the financial situations for both SCC and the Yadkin Center looked good for this time in the year. He also reported that because of record enrollment in community colleges across the state, two percent of the mandated five percent reversion has been returned to the community colleges by the governor. This means that around $299,350 will be returning to SCCs current operating expense account from the state appropriated budget.
Pendergraft reported that the college will be putting up a new sign near the Arbys on U.S. 601 to make the Mount Airy Workforce Development Center easier to identify. A new sign for the entrance to SCC is also in the works.
The board approved Johnson Controls to conduct a free audit of all facilities on the Dobson and Yadkin campuses to determine how the school could work to conserve energy and cut costs. Pendergraft noted that once the audit is complete and the report is made, the college is under no obligation to follow the recommendations made.
The board welcomed Kevin Kimrey to the faculty at the college. Kimrey is the new director of industrial services, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of the previous director in December. Kimrey has two years of experience in industry settings.
The board also recognized the work of the colleges athletic teams. The volleyball, softball, baseball and golf teams were recognized for their success.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.

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