Upper Arlington News

Upper Arlington schools

Remodeled building will house two district departments

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The Upper Arlington school district plans to remodel existing space in its new operations building to house the curriculum and technology departments.

The space will also be used for professional development workshops for teachers, said Chris Potts, executive director of business services.

He said the district has set aside $450,000 for the entire remodeling project. The target month for completing construction and moving the departments is January 2015.

"We have already moved our maintenance department into the building," he said.

The district purchased the large building at 2020 Builders Place last spring for $1,230,000, using revenue from the sale of its former maintenance facility.

That old building, at 925 Burrell Ave. in Grandview Heights, brought in $1,408,000 at auction last summer. The district purchased the Burrell Avenue facility in 1996.

Potts said the Builders Place building is currently being used as a district operations department office and warehouse.

"We were pleased to find a location that met our needs for operations and warehouse space that also included additional office space," he said.

"For years, the staff in our technology and teaching and learning departments has been squeezed into various spaces inside our school buildings."

He said moving those departments out of the school buildings means students and teachers will have more space for classrooms and other activities.

Builders Place sits on 6.5 acres, has 19,000 square feet of warehouse space and more than 10,000 square feet of office space, along with secured outdoor storage.

At last month's board of education meeting, members approved a contract to pay $34,875 to Legat Kingscott for architectural design and engineering services. The firm is expected to come up with a detailed design to remodel the office areas and to create professional development space, which Potts said would allow the district "to hold teacher trainings without having to rent space or block out student spaces like school libraries."

Moving the technology and teaching and learning departments "will create a more efficient workflow," he said.

"It will also give us the ability to keep our teachers on the leading edge of instructional practices," he said. "Just as important, it will free up space in our buildings that can be used to benefit students and families."

Potts said the land around the building also gives the district additional space for future plans.

"We have no future plans at this time (for the acreage), but since the building sits on 6.5 acres, it provides great flexibility for the future, if needed," he said.

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