By George Moore, Director of Administration & Accounting
On February 19, 2018, we officially moved into the new District Office in Florence. It has now been a year, and I have been asked to provide some updates and info related to our anniversary. I like bullet points, so:
- Moving In: First off, you think there is an end date to moving in, but apparently not. Unpacking is never easy, or fun, but when you have to unpack AND keep accomplishing your every day work tasks, things can fall by the wayside. For example, we boxed up the agency’s numerous awards and are just now putting those out for display.
- Design: Regarding the design, it was hard to know if decisions we made along the way would be the best direction because we were moving into a totally different type (size and layout) of space. While every decision may not have been the best, I feel like we hit the mark on most of the design decisions.
- Construction: New doesn’t mean perfect or without flaws. I will admit, I was hoping to move in and not have to deal with any major maintenance issues for at least a year…that hope was lost pretty fast…we had an unusual roof leak that took over six months to identify and fix (FYI, not all roof leaks are because of the roof…this one happened to be rain coming in through the HVAC units on the roof). Plus, we had more than our fair share of window leaks that we are still identifying.
- HVAC: Heating and cooling has been an area that I have been pleasantly surprised in…that’s because staff seem generally OK with the temperature of the air, and we have made relatively few adjustments. Now, either A) they are just too afraid to tell me they’re cold/hot, or B) the air temp is generally acceptable to most…FYI, I’m going with the latter until told differently…
- HVAC (2): More on air temp, the thermostats have the ability to adjust the zones they occupy by two degrees, up or down, of the set temp (which can slightly vary by area).
- Snow: Snow removal has been handled by the City of Florence, who we contract with for snow removal, sidewalk clearing and mowing, and I feel they have done a very good job of this for us.
- Storage: A major concern at our previous spaces, has seen dramatic improvements. With two general storage areas, along with several other divisional storage areas, we finally seem to have enough space to store our “stuff”. I honestly felt we would have needed to use some of our future office spaces for storage, but we largely have not had to do this.
- Security: With moving in to the new space, we all made a concerted effort to improve security pertaining to the building. With all the systems in place and our continued efforts, I feel we are doing a much better job at managing the flow of people and security of the building.
- Clients: For the most part, it appears the flow of clients and visitors is improved over what we had in the past. We are still looking at ways to better implement our Tobacco-Free Campus policy.
- Staff: One of the biggest reasons we moved was so that staff providing functions across the district could be in one place, thereby improving efficiency. In my opinion, this has definitely occurred and was noticeable right away. Considering our responses needed for Hep A, harm reduction in other opioid related areas and infectious diseases in general, it could not have come at a better time.
I think the biggest takeaway for me is that moving in and maintaining a new facility is really no different than maintaining a facility that we’ve had for a decade or more…things will break, things will need replaced, you just do your best to address these things as quickly and efficiently as possible, making sure staff and the public have what they need so we can continue to improve the health and safety of our community.