Spirit of Rowan: Spencer
The past year has been a busy one for the town of Spencer.
Fred and Alice Stanback Educational Forest
The town kicked off the summer with the grand opening of the Fred and Alice Stanback Educational Forest. Formerly known as Spencer Woods, the 53-acre park features more than 2 miles of trails and was the culmination of seven years of community work.
Salisbury Community Development Corp. partnership
Spencer recently tied the knot on its partnership with Salisbury Community Development Corp. The arrangement allows the town to begin sprucing up, renovating or demolishing dilapidated homes on South Carolina Avenue.
In the fall, town officials proposed an idea that could kill two birds with one stone: using the empty Park Plaza shopping center as the location for new town and police offices. On Feb. 20, the town entered a purchase agreement with PI REO LLC to buy the property for $668,000. The town plans to purchase 20,000 square feet of space and use 12,000 of it for a new police station and municipal offices. An outparcel along Fifth Street would be turned into a park.
A new DeVita Dialysis center is nearing completion. Novant Health Rowan Medical Center in 2017 determined the need for another area dialysis center, and Spencer offered to be the new location.
Much of the past year has been devoted to upfitting and renovating stormwater drains along Fourth Street. The project is state-funded.
In 2017, Spencer partnered with Spencer Cal Ripken for the second year to host Homerun Halloween. The trunk-or-treat program, held on the Cal Ripken baseball field, drew more than 1,700 visitors.