Teacher Campus Ribbon-Cutting
Teacher Campus Ribbon-Cutting
Posted on 05/31/2017
A bright, sunny day reflected the mood Tuesday, May 30, as Buncombe County Schools (BCS) and its partners held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Williams-Baldwin Teacher Campus.

To keep costs low, the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation provided a loan without interest, and the Eblen Center for Social Enterprise will pay only $1 per year to Buncombe County to lease the property.

The result is a “smart housing” option for BCS and Asheville City Schools teachers, especially new teachers, with rents well below market rate, said Eblen executive director William Murdock.

“We know how many lives in our community all of our educators touch,” he said. “We can’t do many things about their salary, but what we can do is approach the problem from a totally different angle. What we can do is build the Williams-Baldwin Teacher Campus.”

“Very few systems in the Southeastern U.S. have housing available to teachers,” said Cynthia Lopez, director of BCS Human Resources. “As we have been out recruiting, folks are very excited to see that we offer, smart and lower cost housing.”Teacher Xiangfen Li holds a key in front of an apartment.

Legendary basketball coach and Buncombe County native Roy Williams participated in the ribbon-cutting, saying he had “a lot of good memories” from his time as a teacher and coach in Buncombe County Schools.

The campus is named for coach Williams and his wife Wanda, along with two former Buncombe County teachers, Roy Eugene "Buddy" Baldwin and Rosa Lee Case Baldwin.

Williams handed an apartment key to Xiangfen Li, a teacher at T.C. Roberson High School who will be one of the first to move in.

“Thank you so much; I’m excited,” she said.

The 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, two-bedroom, two-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.

Units are still available. For more information, current BCS teachers may contact Tiffany McCants in the Human Resources Department at 828-255-5921. (ACS teachers may call Mark Dickerson at 828-350-6137.)

Watch the full event video:

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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.
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