By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
The Rim of the World Unified School District has sold its district office, which was in the movie theater building in Blue Jay, and relocated to the Lake Gregory Education Center, near the east shore of Lake Gregory.
The beautiful facility is already being appreciated by the staff who moved in, by departments, beginning at the start of the school year with the last department beginning its move on Oct. 16; all departments are now completely moved into. The Blue Jay building has been sold to an off-the-mountain company.
The Lake Gregory school building was originally built by the district for fourth to sixth grade students in the 1990s as the district’s population was expanding at the time, and because the older school facility at Mary Tone Elementary was not independently handicapped accessible.
As the decades have passed and school population size decreased, the Lake Gregory school site was decommissioned to cut district expenses. For the past few years, some areas of the facility have been used by the Rim of the World Recreation and Park District for their recreation programs.
The district has transformed some former classrooms into office space; all have large windows overlooking the forest and lake making for a pleasant work space with room to expand.
The district’s new superintendent, Dr. Kimberly Fricker, spoke with The Alpine Mountaineer, expressing great satisfaction with the ease of the move and the lovely facility. “The staff is very happy with the beautiful large spaces, and the well-organized move. We are now all settled in and using about half of the building’s space.” They are now seeking ways to use the entire building; one consideration is making it into a true community center.
The Blue Jay district office was sold by the school board before Dr. Fricker was hired by the district. The district has not yet completed the escrow of the sale of the Blue Jay building, as there are many steps to selling government land and a small title snag is being sorted out, so the district has received no funds yet.
“It was wise to sell the Blue Jay building. It is really nice to have a dedicated board room for meetings with a permanently set up audio and video system,” said Dr. Fricker. Previously, the board meetings were generally held in the Rim High School library and rotated around the various school sites.
At the new office, the receptionist area is on the ground floor on the entry ramp into the building, before the elevator which is inside the front door. The offices are mostly on the second floor, with the former library room becoming the school board meeting room as it is easily accessible with both steps and the elevator.
“I think the public will be pleased when they see how the facility is set up; it is very welcoming. The maintenance and purchasing departments saved a lot of money with the smooth transition and finding furnishings that look very upscale. Jenny Haberlin did an amazing job coordinating this move and getting us all settled in. I think the people will get used to coming to this new location and will see we have tried to be good stewards of their finances,” added Fricker.
“Crestline has been very welcoming; we will rely on many Crestline businesses to support us. It is nice when a school invests in its local community and vice-versa. As a district, we represent Running Springs, Lake Arrowhead and Crestline and we are seeking ways to celebrate each unique part of the district that unite to create our whole. The Blue Jay office didn’t have enough space to represent the communities; here we do. We hope to have an open house reception when we are fully moved in,” Fricker concluded.
School board member Bill Mellinger said, “We are pleased to be able to use this facility in Crestline as the district office and to build a new relationship with the community, in a positive way. We as a board look forward to public meetings at the district office, which will be unique for us as we had been unable to do so at the previous location. We are looking forward with confidence, as selling the old building puts us in a better financial position.”
The new location for the Rim of the World school district office is at the Lake Gregory Education Center at 24740 San Moritz Way, in Crestline. They have retained their district phone number of (909) 336-2031, although they are still working on the answering and forwarding phone system and request the community to have patience with them, as they get back into smooth operations this next week or so.
The new reception area for the Rim district office at the Lake Gregory Education Center.
The new school board meeting room in the Lake Gregory Education Center. (Photos by Rhea-Frances Tetley)