AUSTIN (KXAN) — Nearly ten months after Austin ISD approved the purchase of a new administrative headquarters in South Austin, the first district staff are set to move in next week.
The district bought the Southfield Building near the intersection of I-35 and SH 71 in 2017 for $28.4 million after selling its downtown headquarters on 6th Street for $36.5 million.
The building is more than 140,000 square feet and nine stories tall with panoramic views of Austin.
This is the view from @AustinISD’s new headquarters. The district purchased the Southfield Building for $28.4M after selling its downtown office for $36.5M pic.twitter.com/rSgMdycAeu— Tom Miller (@TomMillerKXAN) September 19, 2018
Construction crews will soon knock down walls inside the butterfly shaped building to create wide open floor plans.
“When you’re working in an environment that isn’t filled with cubicles and low ceilings and bad florescent lighting, people work better, they’re happier, they have a better work life balance,” said Kevin Schwartz, an AISD Technology Officer.
The building is being designed to allow for public access to the first floor and becomes more private and restricted the higher you go.
Board meetings and services like transfer requests will be on the first floor, while the superintendents office will be among those on the ninth.
“The opportunities that came with the purchase of the building are the opportunities to focus on customer service, create work spaces that are collaborative, and then be very cost effective,” Schwartz said.
Unlike the current downtown headquarters, parking is ample with more than 1,000 spaces, and you’ll have to go through security to reach upstairs offices.
Renovating the 30-year-old downtown office building was expected to cost $37 million, money the district believed was better spent elsewhere.
Hundreds of staff members will eventually call the new headquarters home.
AISD plans to stay at its current downtown office until the start of summer while crews continue to remodel the Southfield building.