In July 11 Issue
Russell County NewsBy Kim Graham
After 20 years at their previous location, the Russell County Cooperative Extension Service (RCCES) has a new home on South U.S. Hwy. 127 in Russell Springs.
“It’s kind of like a dream to get our own place,” said Pam York, Family and Consumer Science Agent with Russell County Cooperative Extension Service.
At the first of the year in 2009, RCCES began looking at options to expand and by April had purchased the Comfort Zone building next door to Unlimited Marine and across the US 127 from Mighty Dollar in Russell Springs.
“The District Board members and County Judge Executive have been great,” said York. “Without them and their dedication and support, this wouldn’t have happened.”
Opened for business July 1st, the Extension Service’s new home continues to be filled with boxes to unpack and equipment to locate since the move from the old building.
“This summer has been so hectic,” said York. “Trying to get our moving done.”
Day by day, the agents and staff are getting settled in the new space as they unpack and set up new offices while keeping mindful of conservation and recycling empty boxes and old equipment.
“They know us on a first name basis at the recycle center now,” said Julie Beckmann, EFNEP Program Assistant with RCCES.
York said as they unpack, the staff continues to take many loads of recyclable materials such as cardboard, paper, old metal filing cabinets and outdated electronic equipment.
“We’ve tried to emphasize energy efficiency and going green,” said York.
She said new lighting added to the building during refitting for additional offices and work spaces are the same light units used by South Kentucky RECC.
“The lights are more energy efficient and don’t emit as much heat as standard lights,” said York. “The initial cost is more but the long term savings is worth the difference.”
A high efficiency, high tech heating and air conditioning unit has also been added to the building.
The front windows and doors will be tinted to keep heat out in the summer and heat in during the winter to cut down on energy use for heating and cooling the building York said.
“We’ve worked extensively with the Russell County District Board members to make these decisions regarding building specifications,” said York.
In their previous building, RCCES was bursting at the seams in 2,100 square feet of office space.
“The District Board had the vision to recognize our need for adequate office and meeting space to serve the community,” said York.
Once the addition is finished, the extension service will have several options for meetings, three additional bathrooms and a kitchen class room for food demonstrations and cooking classes such as canning and processing.
“We’ll have four different rooms for meetings,” said York. “A large meeting room to seat 60-65, a meeting area for about 20 in the kitchen, a central meeting room that will accommodate about 30 and a board room with seating for 12.”
York said the building addition is scheduled for completion by September 1, 2009.
When construction is complete, RCCES will have more than doubled their office and meeting space with a total 4,300 square feet.
For now, everyone in the extension office is busy getting settled and finishing up the construction project. Farmers, gardeners and other extension clients are also busy with summer duties and activities so the move and construction of additional space came at a time when the rooms were not in demand for meetings.
“The new meeting rooms should be ready for our busy fall and winter meeting season,” York said. “I think the timing has worked out pretty well for everybody.”
A sign out front to identify the building is in the process of being built and installed.
“Hopefully we will have a new sign up in a couple of weeks to make it easier to find us,” said York. “In the meantime, we just tell folks we’re across the road from Mighty Dollar.”
For additional information regarding the location of the new office for Russell Springs Cooperative Extension Service, call 270-866-4477.