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School’s offices may be moved

By Staff | Sep 30, 2012

There could be some real location changes for Blue Earth Area school offices in the near future.

At a special BEA School Board work session last Monday night, Superintendent Evan Gough and building consultant Ryan Hoffman of ICS Consultants outlined some of their plans for the future.

And, both plans involve moving the school offices around.

Gough, who is in his first year as BEA superintendent, outlined his goals for the near future.

Among them was a plan to move both the Blue Earth Elementary and middle school offices from their present locations to an area closer to the district office.

“At our facilities meeting we have begun to study moving those two offices to a central location,” Gough says. “The area is currently used by the Community Ed department and other offices.”

Currently the two school offices are located far apart from each other; both are in their respective sections of the connected middle and elementary school buildings.

Gough says it makes a lot of sense to move the two together to a shared space, close to the district office.

“Right now, students and parents are unsure how to find the schools’ offices,” he says. “I saw a sixth grade girl trying to find her way from one office to the other.”

Plus, he adds, the middle school and elementary schools have a common principal and assistant principal. Both now have to go back and forth from one place to the other.

Gough says the Community Ed staff would move to the current elementary office.

There is one hang up at this time. In making the move, the nurse’s office would also move to a new location.

“We need to be able to have the office staff be able to monitor the nurse’s office,” Gough says.

The superintendent says he feels it will soon be time to bring in an architect or designer to see how the changes could be made.

Hoffman was at the work session to describe a proposed timeline for the heating-ventilation-air conditioning project at the middle and elementary school.

Bids will be let later this year and Hoffman says there will be two possible types of bids.

“One will be to have the work done over two summers,” he says. “But the other is to do the work beginning in January and completed by September of next year.”

In order to accomplish it in one year, Hoffman has a plan of doing some of the work during the school year, with as little impact on the students and staff as possible.

A few of the classrooms will be impacted and needed to be moved temporarily, Hoffman says.

Principal Melissa McGuire says there are at least three empty classroom spaces that could accommodate the move.

But, one other area that could be affected would be the district’s central office, which is located between the middle and elementary schools.

“We have a plan to move the central office to the high school for that time period, January through September,” Gough says. “I have already told Rich (high school principal Rich Schneider) that I am moving in to his office,” Gough joked.

Actually there is other space available at the high school that will work, he explained.

Moving offices wasn’t the only shifting around that Gough proposed.

“I want to begin the process for moving the eighth grade to the high school,” he says. “I think that would make a lot sense as well. An eighth-grader has a lot more in common with a ninth-grader than with a seventh-grader.”