NEWBERRY — The Newberry County School District held an open house Sunday to show the community its new district office located on Main Street near Newberry High School.
District officials were scattered throughout Newberry County before the building was constructed, but now all officials are under one roof. The move took place during April 18 through April 25.
Pamela Arrington, executive director of human resources, said having all the district level employees together makes everyone’s job easier, given the ability to go right down the hall to meet with someone, rather than across the county.
The new building was designed by Donnie Love of McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture with a contemporary look, which he felt suited the administration more.
“We did look into a traditional design, but we thought a contemporary design went well with the school board’s ideas and mission,” said Love.
The design process took Love nine to 10 months and construction took 12 months. The construction process would have finished sooner, but multiple rain delays halted construction.
“This was a great project. It was fun to integrate all the pieces needed for a proper facility,” said Love.
Jim Suber, assistant superintendent of operations and administration, said the old administration building on Martin Street could not meet the growing needs of the school district.
“The old building could only house 20 to 23 offices, and we had over 40 employees at the district level,” he said. “There was no handicap accessibility, we were unable to hold conferences or training and there was not enough parking for everyone.”
Love said that while the new building does draw inspiration from other structures, the administration building is unique to itself. The new office has a state-of-the-art computer lab, is handicap accessible and has plenty of parking for the 40 plus staff and guests.
“It is a really nice building. We appreciate the space and accessibility the building provides,” said Carson Ware, director of accountability, assessment and professional development.
The computer lab will provide students with the newest technology and give staff members the ability to use computers during meetings. Soon, the technology will be in place to broadcast from the district office to all 14 schools in Newberry County.
That will allow one teacher to be in the lab with a class while simultaneously broadcasting to other classes in another location. The computer desks can be converted into a desk when the computers are not needed.
Parent Nikki Hunter, who is also curriculum coordinator at Mid-Carolina Middle School, said she is excited for the new office building and what it will mean for the county.
“The office is really conducive to uniting the district to one office so they can do what is best in the interests of the children,” said Hunter. “The computer lab is very convenient to where everyone has access to a computer during meetings.”
The old district office building is being used as a record retention facility for Human Resources.