The Arlington Planning Commission approved the land site for the school district’s upcoming central office at the commission’s Dec. 19 meeting. The location will be a convenient one.
“It’s right next to the interstate,” said Russ Campbell, chairman. “12060 Arlington Trail. This is more convenient than having houses there.”
Jim Mitchell, founding partner of Southern Educational Strategies, said, “We’re planning for the future, and that’s what Arlington is doing by planning this central office.” The town hired the former superintendent to assist with the project.
Planning began only four months ago, but project organizers say the teamwork between the town and school system means the new office may be in operation by September 2017.
“It’s been on the fast track with the architects, so it’s moved pretty quickly,” Mitchell said. “It’s been a great cooperation between the Town of Arlington and the Arlington Board of Education to provide a site for this.”
The school board has used some of its reserve fund money to back the upcoming district office.
The facility will have three conference rooms, a large lobby for gatherings a meeting room that will fit about 150 people for school board meetings, and two access doors to the parking lot. The grounds will have 79 parking spaces.
The 5,800 square-foot administrative office building will face Arlington Trail, and the 3,000 square-foot operations maintenance building will be at the rear. A generator in the rear will power 25 percent of the building.
“It’s going to be a state-of-the-art office facility,” said Douglas Burris, the project’s architect and principal/owner of The Renaissance Group. “The meeting room is a multipurpose room that will be multifunctional for various training exercises, staff meetings and parties that are related to the school.”
Burris also detailed how the board will be able to broadcast meetings. “We’re equipping it for television so the school can broadcast their meeting every time they meet. We’re going to have proper lighting, sound and all the plugs and switches needed to do that.”
Broadcasting is not the only purpose of the equipment. “It’s also going to be a training bed for high school students in the TV and radio programs,” Burris said. “The students will be able to get actual job training during the school board meetings.”
An elevator will also be installed, and the second floor will be expandable for up to 3,000 square feet.
“The school districts have been very conservative,” Mitchell said. “They’ve been careful with their money during their years of operation, and now they’re looking to the future to provide the appropriate space for their administrative services. This is the time, and we’re doing a great job.”
In other business, the Arlington Planning Commission elected officers at the start of the meeting. Glen Bascom was re-elected as secretary, and Campbell was re-elected as chairman.
Written by A.J. Dugger III, special to the Express.