Yuma-1 moves into new central office

Yuma School District-1 office personnel, Transportation and Maintenance have moved into their new home on the Yuma High School campus.

This past Tuesday was the first official day working out of the renovated former YHS ag building, though there still were some odds and ends to complete, such as setting up the new board room. The IT coordinator also has an office in the new home.
“It’s a huge celebration we were able to do this,” Superintendent Dianna Chrisman said in her new office.
“The new centralized site allows for more efficiency in keeping department heads together in one building,” she said, “instead of being spread out.”
The Yuma-1 Board of Education approved a $1.5 million budget for the project earlier this year. Construction began in earnest in the late spring, and the move was made into the new central building over the Thanksgiving week, and into Monday.
Chrisman said the final figures are not in yet, but the project will use up nearly all the budgeted amount.
The project was not part of the BEST Grant and voter-approved bond.
It was funded completely from money the district already had. Chrisman said the district did not have to go into the more than $8 million Yuma-1 has in reserves. She said the savings that allowed for the project to happen came from the utilization of ESSER Funds (which is federal money as part of COVID-19 relief funds) for such needs at HVAC updates at other district buildings.
Plumbing work, featuring a new sprinkler system was a major cost. Chrisman said there were some other minor surprises, such as some extra HVAC work, but nothing that caused significantly extra costs.
The project included giving the exterior a facelift, particularly on the north side where the entrance to the main office and board room are located. The former classroom space on the north side of the building were renovated into office space for the five district office employees and IT, as well as the new board room. The ag shop of the building has been converted into space and offices for Transportation and Maintenance.
Some of the district’s small vehicles will be parked inside, and a lift has been installed for mechanic work on the small busses, which are extensively utilized by the district these days.
The internal work, plumbing, electrical and HVAC have all been updated. Safety measures, such as the fire sprinklers were added in the shop areas, as well as electrical updates and lighting.
Chrisman noted the renovation was part of the master plan the district worked through prior to the BEST Grant and bond election.
“It was a natural progression that made sense to complete at this time while we still had the Neenan Company on site,” she said. “We were able to capitalize on some savings by essentially piggy-backing on the general conditions, supervision and scope with the Neenan Company while they were already deployed and set up here for the big project.”
The former district office at 418 S. Main St. has been sold, helping somewhat offset the costs. Northeast BOCES will be moving into the downtown location sometime early next year.
All of the office equipment and furniture was moved from the district office and transportation office.
“This renovation secures the shop, consolidates the maintenance and transporation services, and district administration into one building,” Chrisman noted, “and significantly extends the lifespan and utilization of this building.”