RUSD headquarters staff to be housed in two buildings, board committee told Monday
The project’s total price tag, including the purchase price, remodeling costs and interest is $9.6 million.
The Racine Unified School District’s new Administrative Service Center will occupy two buildings on the former Surgitek campus on Mount Pleasant Street, the School Board’s audit committee was told Monday.
David Hazen, RUSD chief financial officer, shared floor plans that showed how the buildings will likely be used when district offices are relocated later this year from 2220 Northwestern Ave. The School Board late last year purchased the former Surgitek buildings and land for $3.8 million. The deal included the sale of the Northwestern Avenue site for $500,000.
When plans were initially discussed for moving the Administrative Service Center (ASC) offices to the new location, all district offices and functions were to have been under one roof—a 78,000-square-foot former factory and office building. But, as Hazen noted, a review of ASC functions and discussions with employees made it clear that a two-story, 26,000-square-foot former office building should also be pressed into service.
“We own the second building, regardless. We’re just using it sooner than we expected we would,” he said.
The larger of the two buildings will house teaching and learning administrative staffs, the district’s warehousing and the Instructional Media Center, which serves as a resource for classroom materials. The diagnostics staff will be relocated from 5911 Erie St.
The smaller building will house the district’s buildings and grounds, human resources and part of the information systems department. Staff training space will be available on the second floor.
Responding to questions from committee chairman Don Nielsen, Hazen added that more operating efficiencies are expected to be found in the new warehouse space with its 28-foot ceilings. Plans call for existing shelving to be used for general materials storage.
“As time goes on, we won’t have stacks and stacks of paper. But that won’t happen right away,” said Hazen.
An architecture firm is finalizing the interior remodeling plans for the two buildings. The School Board will likely be asked to review and approve remodeling bids in March. The project’s total price tag, including the purchase price, remodeling costs and interest is $9.6 million.
Despite remodeling two buildings instead of one, Hazen said he expects the district will still achieve an estimated $450,000 in annual savings over the older Northwestern Avenue complex. Those savings include energy costs, maintenance expenses and reduced employee overtime.
“People may challenge this, but we’re going to try to document all of these savings,” he said.