If you’ve visited us recently at the Cohn School or attended a class during the last few weeks of our Summer semester, then you’ve noticed that something big has changed at Nashville Community Education. We have moved our office! When did that happen? How did that happen? Let us tell you through a (brief) history of the office move…
In February of this past year, it was determined that we were to move our offices downstairs to Room 123. Our old office occupied the space that in the past was designated as the “main office” of the school, inadvertently placing us at the center of school activity. However, our classes take place downstairs and our students learn downstairs, so it was determined that it made more sense for us to be downstairs with our classes and our people.
Prior to the development of this moving plan, NCE had been using Room 123 as a classroom. And even before that the classroom was used as a science lab by the Cohn High School. The classroom still had the original soapstone chemistry tables, complete with Bunsen burner hookups! Several of our classes made use of this space, including Beginning Sewing, Canning, and Beginning and Intermediate Guitar and Fiddle.
After learning the location of the new office in March, we worked with a graduating interior design senior, Kiel Thode, on how to transform the office space and develop a color theme, and in return Kiel used our office as part of his senior design project. It was determined that we were to continue our leap into the 21st century and go with a very modern design and modern furniture. At this time we also began meeting with Metro Nashville Public Schools maintenance staff to determine what work needed to be done for a complete renovation. The tables needed to be removed, the floor would need to be replaced, a new ceiling would be installed, and finally a lot of rewiring for electricity and data had to happen.
Our Executive Director, Lovette Curry, began consulting with a local furniture wholesaler, HST, about possible office furniture sets and layouts for Room 123. MNPS maintenance began renovation in Room 123, first removing the chemistry tables and then retiling the floor.
The renovation of Room 123 was in full motion in May, with the repainting and carpeting of the main office room and the adjacent room, to be the office of the Executive Director (photo). Our Executive Director was given the opportunity to choose her own paint colors and went with a purple theme.
After a few weeks of working out the best path to renovating the ceiling in Room 132, MNPS maintenance determined that a new drop ceiling would be the best route for the update. Installation of the new ceiling went on for about a week. None of us could believe how much this lower white ceiling brightened up the room!
The final steps of the office renovation took place in early July with MNPS maintenance working fast to install electricity lines, data ports, and phone lines before the furniture arrived the first week of July. The installation of the furniture took place the first week of July and involved a team of installers who worked from 8am to 5pm piecing together our desk modules, waiting room chairs and tables, and conference table and chairs (photos). Metro Nashville IT came after the furniture and moved the heart of the office downstairs: the computers, copier, and fax machine. Finally, it was time to replace those old air conditioners that blew like wind tunnels with new efficient machines. We couldn’t be more grateful for that upgrade!
After MNPS and Metro Nashville did their work, it was time for the staff of Community Education to get their hands a little dirty, too. To liven up the new space and provide a splash of color, we determined that we would paint a few shelves in the office shades of blue and green that matched the new furniture, and that we would recover the green chalkboards with black chalkboard paint. So, the painting party began!
After a week of finishing touches, final cleaning, and some reorganization, the new office became real.
Come see our new office at our annual Open House to be held Saturday, August 17th from 9am to 12pm!
- Lauren Zimmerman – Lauren Zimmerman is a native of Middle Tennessee and a recent graduate of Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics. After graduating in 2011, Lauren served a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Community Education. After her year of service, Lauren joined the department officially as the Communications Coordinator, responsible for managing external communications and social media in addition to management of daily program activities.