9-R School District Opens New Admin Building

June 11, 2024

Nearly three years after the historic administrative building was sold to the city of Durango, Durango School District 9-R has opened a new headquarters. 46 district employees work out of the new, smaller building, located in Bodo Park. Departments in the new facility include the superintendent, executive team, communications, curriculum and instruction, student support services, human resources, finance, safety and security, and the Durango Education Foundation. By Connor Shreve. This story is sponsored by Tafoya, Barrett & Associates and Happy Pappy’s Pizza & Wings.

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Durango 9, our school district is heading into the summer under a new roof. After serving in education for 107 years, the historic high school and former admin building is now owned by the city of Durango. The school district is now headquartered in the Columbine Center in Bodo Park. You're watching the "Local News Network" brought to you by Tafoya Barrett and Associates, and Happy Pappy's Pizza n Wings. I'm Connor Shreve. Superintendent Dr. Karen Chester says, having the search complete for a new building after the old one sold to the city of Durango in 2021 is a relief.

It's a 1990s building as opposed to a 1915 building. So we do feel like it's a little bit more fiscally responsible for us to be in this smaller space that doesn't need as much work. It's also nice that we're all in one place, except for our facilities and IT departments, which we still are finding a place for them.

The move is a serious downsize, going from a nearly 44,000 square foot space to one that's about 12,000. The logistics of moving 46 staff members in the midst of a school year was not easy, but Chester says now that the staff is settled, they're finding advantages to being in a smaller building.

Also, because all of our different departments are all very pretty close together, we think that will help us more with collaboration and when we need to work, for example, HR and curriculum and instruction can be together quickly. The same thing with our facilities department and, say, the superintendent's office. So because we are so pretty close, it does help us be more efficient.

Chester says district employees seem to be enjoying the new facility.

Another thing, this might be a small thing, but we didn't have any, we didn't have a real kitchen there, so we obviously didn't have a sink in order to, with dishes, and people of course are trying to eat here and have their lunches and that kind of thing. So it's kind of nice to have a kitchen and an actual sink and a stove and seems like a small thing, but it does make our workplace better.

Well, it is nice to have the 9-R admin facility settled, Chester says it's part of an evolving facilities process for the district, which is now looking to move Big Picture High School and The Hub out of temporary locations.

The Hub has a lease that runs out next May, and so we are currently looking for a permanent facility for The Hub. We don't think it's fiscally responsible to continue to lease, and so taking the funds that we have left from the sale of the administration building, as well as the impending Buckley Park sale, we need to use those funds for both a place for the hub, and that's pretty quickly. And then Big Picture High School, we have two more years on that lease.

Departments in the new facility include the superintendent, executive team, communications, and curriculum and instruction among others, along with the Durango Education Foundation. For more information about this and other stories, visit durangolocal.news. Thanks for watching this edition of the "Local News Network." I'm Connor Shreve.


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