Brand Spanking New: SOLC #5

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, today was the day to head to the university to get a tour of our new offices and get keys. We’ve been watching the building emerge from what was formerly a parking lot for a couple of years now. Deep holes and mounds of dirt have been replaced by shiny glass and modern lines. This multi-use space includes offices, meeting spaces, retail, restaurants, and student housing along with underground parking. While we all worked from home, construction continued and the building has come in pretty much on time.

A pandemic opening is a bit strange. We’ve all been invited in two or three at a time to be introduced to our new spaces. So instead of a busy, buzzing space, things were quiet today. And that seemed perfect. After a grand tour of all the offices and working spaces, Angela and I got a closer look at our writing project’s spaces. We puttered around a bit, getting a feel for the layout and began to organize and unpack a few boxes.

As a writing project, we’ve moved a number of times. The first place I remember was a portable building outside the Teacher Education Program building. When that building was demolished to make room for new construction, we moved into an old building in another part of campus, this time moving in with CREATE, our current (and forever) home department. When that building was razed to make room for yet more new construction (are you seeing a pattern here?), we moved to our more recent space–an old science building renamed to fit its new occupants–the Social Science Research Building. That place has been home for more than a decade, a place for meetings, for conversations with colleagues, and for all the “stuff” that accumulates from our work with teachers and students.

Even when we packed all our belongings in the fall, the move to a new space still didn’t seem real. We’d heard all about windows that opened, space for the entire CREATE family all in the same building, conference rooms and parking (I’ll still believe in its ampleness only when I get to experience available parking spaces once folks come back to school and work!).

But today…these new offices became real. And they feel just right. They are fresh and clean, even while piled with boxes and books that need putting away. They feel like a the promise of a bright future, a place to envision new ways to support teachers and students. A place to build on a more than 40 year history of successful professional development. I can do my work from home, but I am feeling excited about heading back to the university. To my brand spanking new office, to collaborations with my colleagues, to informal conversations in the common spaces, to a post-pandemic work life. Now, to get back in there and get those boxes unpacked! (And I’m pretty excited about having a window that opens…and a bit of a view!)

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