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RANGELY I The school district’s administrative offices are on the move. Again.
After moving in May from what used to be the middle school building to the former Parkview Elementary Building, the administrative offices are now headed to the Early Education Center.
The EEC formerly was home to the district’s administrative offices, but in the mid-2000s was vacated to save money and has been on the market ever since. Most of the space in the EEC is rented to businesses. The school district’s administrative offices will occupy the east end of the EEC, which for the past year was the temporary home of the Rangely Recreation Center. The Rangely Recreation Center recently had a grand opening for its newly remodeled facility, freeing up the space in the EEC.
Previously, the district considered remodeling the wood shop on the west end of the high school and converting it to space for the administrative offices.
“But the preliminary costs were coming in at $350,000 to $400,000 and that was more than we wanted to spend,” said Steve Kraft, the district’s chief financial officer. “The board will need some time to decide and we’ll need some time to come up with a plan (for a permanent home for the administrative offices).”
Meanwhile, the school district’s administrative offices will make the move to the EEC in stages. First-year Superintendent Barry Williams and his administrative assistant Nita Rohn will make the move this week, to be followed a few days later by Kraft and Janet Medina, who have been going through an audit. The BOCES (Boards of Cooperative Educational Services) offices will also make the move to the EEC.
“We’re kind of doing it in stages,” Williams said. “We should all be moved in by Oct. 9. I just want to get down there and get set up.”
For Williams, where his office is located is a small matter.
“I’m in the school buildings more than I am in the office,” Williams said. “I have to be with my kids.”
The transition of the district’s offices to the ECC is temporary.
“That will not be a permanent move,” Williams said. “We will not be down there forever. That’s not our intention.”
As of the end of September, the former Parkview Elementary building, which was closed to save the district money, was vacant. However, the future of the building remains uncertain.
“We’ll try to sit down with some people and see what we should do with the building,” Williams said. “It involves everyone, the community, the BLM.”
The Bureau of Land Management owns the property, while the school district owns the building.
Since the building sits on government property, chief financial officer Kraft said, “That puts constraints on who we can transfer the property to. It has to be to another governmental entity, or if we could find a church, that would also qualify.
“That’s what the board’s hope is, but we’ve been talking about this for over a year, and so far no one is interested in doing anything yet.”
If there is no interest in the old Parkview, Kraft said, the building could eventually be gutted and the materials and equipment salvaged. The building would then be demolished.
“At the point we’ve exhausted every avenue and there are absolutely no takers, as far as a purchaser, we would have to look at that,” Kraft said.
As far as the renovations done over the summer at the district’s two school buildings — the new Parkview Elementary and the newly combined Rangely Junior High/Senior High, “For the first phase, things look pretty good,” Williams said. “As we go through the year, we’ll be punch-listing things and assessing what we need and how much (of the bond money) is left.”
The expanded kitchen at Parkview (in the former middle school building) is expected to be up and running by the middle of the month.
Williams said he planned to schedule ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the two buildings, once renovations are completed.
“Once we get all of the (new) technology up and running, then we’re going to bring the community in and make it a big deal. So they can see what they paid for. I want to show ’em what we’ve got,” Williams said. ‘We’re going to make this a big thing, because, to me, this is a big thing.”