White County’s Board of Education is now located in the old Findlay School, a facility three times larger than the previous location.
Director Kurt Dronebarger said the extra space will provide more opportunities for students and faculty.
“In a sense, we got three buildings in one,” Dronebarger said. “We got a new central office for us, we got the new school building for the students and teachers, and then of course we’re able to pool people out of all the other elementary schools around the county if they need to free up space there and bring them to the central office. I think it was a good move.”
Dronebarger said the school system offices operated at the old Baker Elementary school for over 20 years. He said the new location provides space for teacher training, a high school culinary class, family resource center, and the HiSET program.
Other plans include a future daycare for school board employees, an after school care program, and others. Dronebarger said utilizing the old Findlay Elementary School also provides a space for community organizations to work with students.
“We also brought over our alternative school, which was on a campus over near our old board office,” Dronebarger said. “That is located at our central office now, and they have room to expand. Right now it’s really an alternative program, it’s just a couple classrooms. If we ever wanted it to be it’s own school number, it’s own entity, then they have room to expand.”
The City of Sparta allowed the board to stay at the old Baker school at no cost. Dronebarger said the previous facility needed renovations that would have been costly and time consuming.
“Nobody wants to spend extra tax dollars on a central office,” Dronebarger said. “They want to spend it on the kids, and rightfully so. This was an opportunity for us to do a little bit of both. We didn’t do a whole lot of updating at the old [Findlay] school, if it was good enough for the kids it was good enough for us.”