Old Fayette County High School in line for repurposing as central office headquarters
What once was the campus of the old Fayette County High School is being recycled for a new use.
The Lafayette Education Center (LEC) on Lafayette Avenue in Fayetteville has long been one of the main operation centers of the Fayette County School System. With the coming move of the Stonewall Avenue central office and other changes, the “new LEC” will put most school system functions in one place and address the school system’s long-term needs.
Above, Building B at the Lafayette Education Center in Fayetteville, along with Building A to the right, are under internal construction that will lead to a consolidation of the school system’s central office and other school system services. Photo/Ben Nelms.
Assistant Superintendent of Operations Mike Sanders said buildings A and B at the LEC are currently undergoing significant upgrades, adding that it is not only the 30 people working at central office that will be stationed in a new area. The move, Sanders said, actually impacts 150 work stations.
A Building, the building on the right when facing the block-long LEC complex and B Building, adjacent to it, are currently undergoing significant renovation. A Building will house central office departments such as human resources, finance, the superintendent and assistant superintendents, purchasing and public information. Joining the other offices in A Building will be departments such as nutrition and the after-school program.
A Building will be the location where the Fayette County Board of Education meets.
B Building will also house a wealth of departments, such as enrollment, student services and social work, curriculum coordinators, health services professional learning labs, exceptional children, pre-K evaluation, and safety, discipline and athletics.
Work on the two buildings is expected to be complete by the end of December, at which point the moves into the new offices will be staggered as appropriate, said Sanders, adding that central office staff will move as soon as possible.
“This project provides anticipated long-term growth for the school system,” Sanders said.
The $3.1 million sale of the school system’s central office and former transportation headquarters on Stonewall Avenue earlier this year will help offset the $8.85 million cost of the various changes to the LEC.
The $8.85 million project cost will include the complete renovation and will cover all expenses affiliated with the reconstruction, new equipment and the move of the various offices, said Sanders, adding that much of the furniture will move from current locations into the new offices.
“We’re really excited,” Sanders said. “This will be great for our system and for our efficiency.”
Commenting on the upcoming move and its impact of the school system’s long-term future, Superintendent Jody Barrow said, “We’re always looking to improve our operational effectiveness. And we’re looking at this as a win-win for the school district, for Fayetteville and for the parents and students in terms of customer service.”
Fayetteville earlier this year purchased the 10-acre school system property that fronts Stonewall Avenue near downtown and is situated next to the city cemetery. Current plans call for a new City Hall, open public space and other uses to be located on the site.