DOBSON — Surry Community College’s Board of Trustees unanimously consented Monday for President David Shockley to move forward on publicly seeking a parcel of land for relocation of the school’s vineyard.
It was revealed at the board’s June meeting that the 56-acre parcel of farmland borders U.S 601 over to Old Rockford Road and is owned by Charlie Jarrell.
“I am amazed this kind of land is available in our backyard,” said Shockley.
If the property were to be acquired by the school, it would represent 30 percent more land than the SCC’s Dobson campus. Shockley told the board that he would approach the Surry County Commissioners at their budget meeting tonight for help in acquiring the property.
“This is an amazing piece of land,” said Chairperson Deidre Rogers. “It’s a gem, with awesome possibilities for our future.”
The board also was told that the school’s educational foundation is pursuing buying another tract of land from a separate owner that would connect the 56-acre tract to Main Street in Dobson. Shockley said he will ask the Surry County Board of Education, which had chosen to terminate the lease agreement with college for the property the vineyard is now on, for a two-year extension.
The board of education had originally signaled that it would end the lease for improvements to Surry Central High School by the end of this year but would work with the college to be sure it did not lose a growing season. Shockley will seek the extension to allow North Carolina State University to finish its grant-funded research that is ongoing in test plots in the vineyard.
In other business, a heartfelt farewell was given to outgoing trustee Mike Royster by various members of the board.
“We have the ultimate respect for Mike Royster,” said Rogers. “I cannot thank him enough. He’s given us 22 years of outstanding service on the board.” Rogers read from a poem that said three words that lead to success are to do what is expected “… and then some.” She said Rogers had given her the benefit of his experience and had been a mentor for her.
“One thing we’ve always done, is that we have always gotten along together and put the interest of this college first and foremost,” said Royster. “Surry Community College is the greatest organization we’ve got in Surry County. As long as you continue to operate as you have, you will do nothing but go forward. I’ve enjoyed serving with each and every one of you. I will truly miss you guys.” Royster also commended the work of Administrative Assistant Cheryl F. Largin.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.