County commissioner sees potential for new library on Waxhaw campus
MONROE – Union Day School has submitted a letter of intent to the county in hopes of buying 20 acres of the recently rezoned Nixon property in Waxhaw.
County commissioners rezoned the 27-acre site earlier this month from residential to commercial, opening the door for Union Day to apply for a permit to operate a school there.
Union Day currently operates in a wing within Forest Hill Church on Kensington Road.
The developer has requested the proposal appear before the Union County Planning Board in December, according to Commissioner Stony Rushing.
The school also has offered the county the opportunity to build a library on its campus.
Rushing asked commissioners Oct. 16 if they could ask the library board to consider the Waxhaw property as a potential site. Lance Simpson and Frank Aikmus thought it would be more appropriate for staff to relay the message to the library board instead, so commissioners didn’t sway the board.
“I don’t believe the site is big enough to handle a western regional library,” Simpson said. “My personal opinion is that it’s not located in the right location.”
Rushing cited a study from 2007 that mentioned N.C. 16 in Waxhaw and behind the town hall in Weddington as potential locations for a library.
Erin Kirkpatrick, a real estate agent serving on Union Day’s board of directors, told commissioners that putting the library on the site would allow for shared parking and ensure access to students.
It also would allow the school to shift dollars into other parts of the curriculum.
“All the studies show that a library and schools are tools for economic development,” Kirkpatrick said.
“While they themselves don’t produce property tax on the sites they are located, they attract companies and people to the area.”
As a real estate agent, she’s dealt with German companies looking to locate their U.S. headquarters in Union County. They look for schools with international curriculums like Union Day, she said.
Putting such uses in an isolated area runs the risk of missing out on moms spending money on their children during trips to the library, she said.
Kirkpatrick told commissioners that not getting a library on the campus wouldn’t be a dealbreaker.
“We need to be in it by next school year – even if that’s a combination of modular and stick-build structure,” Kirkpatrick said. “We have to be somewhere for next year.”