SOUTHINGTON — Last summer town and Board of Education offices merged into a new building on the site of the former North Center school after a lengthy and contentious process.
Town Manager Garry Brumback said the consolidation improved relations between the Board of Education and other town departments and is part of an effort to merge work and cut costs.
“It’s a professionally-designed building and from our perspective it exceeds expectations,” he said of the new municipal center.
Schools Superintendent Joseph V. Erardi Jr. said having school and town departments under the same roof is more efficient.
“That’s a huge benefit,” he said. “The quality of space is great.”
Since town departments were also previously in two buildings, it has also helped them. Jim Butler, who heads the Building Department, said communication between departments is easier.
“We’re very pleased,” Butler said.
Paul Chaplinsky, Planning and Zoning Commission vice chairman, said overall the building is achieving its objectives.
“I think the people did a nice job,” Chaplinsky said. “It’s a better location for them and it gives them more space, but we are always looking for ways of improvement.”
During planning stages of the municipal center, Chaplinsky was initially opposed to the consolidation because he felt moving town officers out of downtown would hurt businesses.
Brumback said he does not believe the move has hurt businesses.