The Williams-Baldwin Teacher Campus
The Williams-Baldwin Teacher Campus
Posted on 11/18/2016
By Benjamin Rickert, Communications Department

"Preparing students for their tomorrow" is deeply woven into the fabric of everything we do in Buncombe County Schools. This is why continuing to recruit and retain the highest quality teachers is a key consideration year after year. Living in beautiful Western North Carolina certainly has its perks- with its lush valleys, hidden waterfalls, and rich culture. The quality of life is undeniable, and as our region flourishes, regularly adding new neighbors to our communities in the greater Asheville area and surrounding Buncombe County, the reality is that for some it can be a challenge to find an affordable, long-term place to call home.

Apartment LayoutThe Williams-Baldwin Teacher Campus aims to give some relief to those who are drawn to our schools and endeavor to love and teach our children. The unique project is a partnership between BCS, Asheville City Schools, Eblen Charities’ Center for Social Enterprise, Buncombe County, and the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation.  Plans were announced in July of 2015, and completion is currently expected in the spring of 2017. The campus is named for the legendary UNC basketball coach and former Charles D. Owen High coach Roy Williams and his wife Wanda, along with two former Buncombe County teachers, Roy Eugene "Buddy" Baldwin and Rosa Lee Case Baldwin.

DetailsThe 24-unit complex is located on Erwin Hills Road near Eblen Intermediate school and will offer 18 units for County teachers and 6 units for City teachers. The expected cost for a 1,100 square foot, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom unit will be in the area of $900 per month, and this becomes even more manageable for teachers with a roommate or working partner. For comparison, the median two bedroom rental cost in the Asheville area was $1,180 per month in 2016- a 7.6% increase over 2015- and in January, Asheville overtook Charlotte as the costliest city for rent in North Carolina.

The construction of the two, three-story buildings will cost about $2.5 million. To help keep additional costs low, the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation is providing a loan without interest, and the Eblen Center for Social Enterprise will pay only $1 per year to Buncombe County to lease the property. 

Accordingly to Eblen Charities, "As the loan is paid off, the apartments will provide a source of revenue for Eblen programs that benefit area schools, teachers and students in need."

Teacher CampusIn October, project stakeholders gathered for a sneak peak and tour of the construction site. The ribbon cutting is on schedule for this coming Spring of 2017. Teachers will be able to apply for a unit in early Spring. When completed, the Williams-Baldwin Teacher Campus will provide an innovative and practical means of attracting and retaining the most talented educators to Buncombe County.

For more information, current BCS teachers may contact Cynthia Lopez, Director of Human Resources, at 828-255-5921. (Asheville City Schools may call Mark Dickerson at 828-350-6137.)

 

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