Nine months after buying an office building at 3340 Harlem Ave., administrators at Riverside Elementary School District 96 are preparing to make the move from the Central/Hauser campus in the heart of Riverside to their new, permanent home on the village’s eastern border.
Moving days officially are Thursday, Aug. 8 and Friday, Aug. 9, which means that all in-person registration and residency verification will have to wait until the office opens for business on Monday, Aug. 12.
“It’s been very good for me my first three years to be part of the schools to learn more about the school routine, access to students and staff,” said Superintendent Martha Ryan-Toye, who added she typically set aside one day a week to make sure she visited the district’s three other buildings. “So, I’ll have to make an effort to get to Central/Hauser. That’ll be a change, obviously, and that’s less good.
“But what I think is good for us here is being able to integrate our full office team, being able to give that space back to Central. It’s not unusual for there to be a separate central office location. For all of us, we have to have a clear goal and effort to be at the schools.”
Ryan-Toye was already moved into her office on Aug. 5, as was Don Tufano, the school district’s director of technology and innovation, whose team was also in place before other central office administrators were slated to move in later this week.
District 96 purchased the former Texor Petroleum headquarters at the corner of Harlem Avenue and East Quincy Street last November for $600,000. The building required little in the way of interior buildout, however.
The first floor was already arranged for office use, a combination of private offices arranged around large cubicle spaces. A small main entry off East Quincy Street will be decorated with student artwork once school begins, said Ryan-Toye.
There’s also plenty of onsite parking to accommodate the 14 central office staff, visitors and staff who come to the building for meetings and professional development.
While you might not notice it immediately from the Harlem Avenue side, the building has a second floor that at one time housed an apartment with a full kitchen. There are two large rooms, including a full-size, furnished conference room as well as another of similar size that can used for larger meetings and professional development for faculty.
The second floor will also serve as a storage area for the district office.
With the district office vacating its lower-level headquarters at Central School, plans are in the works to construct a multi-purpose room that will serve as a large-group learning space and lunchroom for Central School students, who now use the Hauser Junior High cafeteria.
For the 2019-20 school year the offices will be used for small-group instruction, among other things.