BY MIKE JAMES
THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
FLATWOODS Russell school administrators have moved in and will start work today in the district’s new central office at 908 Powell Lane.
The move will bring all the district’s administrators under one roof and provides expanded office, meeting and staff training space, according to Superintendent Sean Horne.
The new quarters are in a remodeled office building previously occupied by a physician and an insurance firm.
The $1.2 million project included a complete redo of the 4,000-square-foot interior, which was gutted and reconformed for district needs, and a 2,000square-foot addition that expanded it further, financial officer Dennis Chambers said.
Seven of the district’s 15 administrators had been stationed at Russell Primary and Russell Mc-Dowell Intermediate, and moving them will free up classroom space in those buildings, Horne said.
Expansion of the prekindergarten program is expected to take advantage of the space in the primary school, he said.
The intermediate school may place arts and humanities classes in its newly vacant rooms, Chambers said.
The project also improved parking facilities. There are 42 spaces compared to 13 at the former office on Belfont Street in downtown Russell.
Visitors to the office will enter through double front doors secured with a buzzer system controlled by the receptionist. The lobby includes a computer terminal job applicants can use to enter and retrieve information.
A large board room will also be used for staff training; it will seat about 40 staffers and probably considerably more during board meetings, and increases efficiency, Chambers said.
The board previously had most of its meetings in the high school library, which was large enough to accommodate crowds, but inadequately configured.
Having meetings at the central office also makes it more convenient to retrieve additional documents and records the board might need.
The board will use an adjacent conference room for closed sessions and other purposes.
The conference room also opens into Horne’s office.
The spacious technology department is where computers and other electronics are serviced; “Everything that plugs into the wall ... it’s the hospital,” technology coordinator Greta Casto said.
Powell Lane is close to all district schools, most of which — the high school, middle school and primary school — are clustered on nearby Red Devil Lane, with the intermediate building on Long Street, which is even closer.
Some administrators spend time at the schools and having the office close by decreases travel time and increases efficiency, according to Horne. “The proximity to all our schools makes it the right fit for us,” he said.
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