By William C. Singleton III
The new $4 million Homewood school central office is now open for business, board meetings and staff development.
About 15 Homewood school central office employees moved into the school system’s new 15,687-square-foot headquarters in late August, and the board held its first meeting in the building in September. The new building is at 450 Dale Avenue.
The property on which the new building sits runs along Valley Avenue and had been eyed as a site for a new central office ever since the school board purchased the property for about $10 million from foreclosure in December 2010.
The site used to house the 440-unit Magnolia Park Apartments, which went into foreclosure in July 2010.
At the time, school officials said they wanted to be proactive in identifying available property for future school needs, particularly with Homewood being virtually landlocked. The school system razed the abandoned buildings to prepare the site for a new central office.
Merrick Wilson, spokeswoman for Homewood City Schools, said the new facility gives staff more room compared to the previous office at 7 Hollywood Boulevard. The new facility is more than double the space of the previous building, which measured 7,400 square feet.
“We had employees sharing open offices, which can be difficult when meeting with teachers, parents, community members and new employees and holding interviews,” Wilson said. “We also had limited space for professional development. Bringing faculty and staff together for professional development is important for collaboration in our schools.”
Wilson said the new building is also more visitor-friendly. The old building had a confusing layout because the entrance was on a lower level while the main offices were on the second level. The new building is one level, which makes it more accessible to visitors, Wilson said.