BY GLENN PUIT
THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
RUSSELL “This will serve the district well.”
Those words from Russell Independent School District Superintendent Sean Horne encapsulate the feelings on display Thursday night as the district celebrated its brand new central office at 908 Powell Lane. The district transformed what was a doctor’s office into a state of the art office space that affords the district the opportunity to have all central office employees under one roof. It also freed up five classrooms in the district and allows district leadership to monitor all school security from one central location.
“We had a vision a couple of years ago about expanding and making sure we had a location that would house all of our district employees,” Horne said. “A lot of folks didn’t realize we had quite a few employees out in our district in the buildings and we’ve never been in one location. The property became available, it is definitely going to meet our needs, and we are able to bring up everyone into one location while freeing up five classrooms in our district, which is huge. ...We are real excited about it and this will serve the district well.”
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 2,000-square-foot addition that expanded it further. 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 people during board meetings, and increases efficiency.
“We have an extremely supportive Board of Education that puts kids first,” Horne said. “I can’t overemphasize it.”
It was a packed house at a celebration Thursday night as school district leaders cut a ribbon to symbolize the opening. John Jones of the Russell Board of Education said it is a special time for Russell schools.
“Its been a lot of hard work ... everyone working together,” Jones said.
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