New headquarters for Fayette schools to be ready by end of January

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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.
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.

The renovation of portions of the Lafayette Education Center (LEC) in Fayetteville that will centralize many of the Fayette County School System administrative offices is continuing, with staff currently housed in the central office building on Stonewall Avenue expected to move in January.

Though originally expected to have the large LEC renovation completed by year’s end, Superintendent Jody Barrow on Nov. 20 said weather events, including in Florida, impacted the delivery of some of the materials needed for the renovation.

Those delays will likely result in the central office move coming sometime in January, Barrow said, adding that a better time projection will likely come in a few weeks.

The school system has occupied the LEC complex, formerly Fayette County High School, for 40 years, and the old campus is on its way to becoming the new headquarters of the entire school system.

“It will be good to have central office under one roof,” school system Facilities Director Mike Satterfield said previously, noting that a number of other school system offices have long been at the LEC location.

Located on Stonewall Avenue two blocks from downtown Fayetteville, the current one-story central office building has housed portions of the school system administration for the past few decades. That facility is also the meeting place of the Fayette County Board of Education.

All that will change, once renovations in buildings A and B at the LEC are complete.

Once the move is complete, the current building on Stonewall Avenue will be demolished next spring to make way for the construction of the new Fayetteville City Hall and the large park and greenspace to its rear.

After 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.

The $3.1 million sale to the city earlier this year of the school system’s 10-acre central office, transportation headquarters and bus storage facility on Stonewall Avenue will help offset the $8.85 million cost of the various changes to the LEC.

That 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, Assistant Superintendent of Operations Mike Sanders said previously, adding that much of the furniture will move from current locations into the new offices.