Construction Begins on Conference Center
The Region One Education Service is one step closer to constructing a 1,200-seat capacity conference center which will expand the professional development opportunities for educators of the Region One area. An official ground-breaking ceremony was held on August 6, 2019, bringing together Board Members, Administration and staff members to kick off the projected 15-month project. Also, on hand for the groundbreaking event were representatives from Gignac & Associates, the project architect and D. Wilson Construction, project contractors.
The total 25,672 square foot expansion includes a meeting room capable of accommodating up to 1,200 participants. This same room can be divided into four mid-size trainings spaces with individual capacities of over 200 and one new training space with a capacity of over 500 participants. With the new addition, there will be a total of 21 rooms available for trainings, meetings, and conferences at the Edinburg site. Currently, the capacity for a conference-style event is limited to only 300 persons requiring many of the Region One hosted events to move off site. “We are so excited about the possibilities that this new space will present. The flexibility of the room space will allow us to host larger conferences throughout the year and to utilize that same space for smaller training sessions when warranted,” explained Dr. Cornelio Gonzalez, Executive Director.
In addition to the meeting room spaces, a café area will be available to participants and ESC staff. To accommodate the building space growth, an additional 231 parking spaces will be added to the west side entrance on Jackson Road. The total project will cost approximately $10.8 million.
“When educators come to Region One for training, they are coming to learn so they can go back to their respective campuses and be better educators for the students in the classroom. We want to ensure that their experience is comfortable and conducive to learning. Right now, our ESC serves over 28-thousand teachers, 9-thousand Administrators, 6-thousand Educational Aides, and over 22-thousand Auxiliary Staff and we offer training opportunities for every one of these groupings throughout the year, and our region continues to grow. To keep up with the growth and to make available a state-of-the-art training facility our Region One ESC Board of Directors has made this commitment. We are dedicated to the needs of not only the students served by Region One but to our educators, as well.”
“We are eager to see construction begin, but we also know that the construction over the next year or so will cause some inconveniences to building visitors and to our staff,” says Gonzalez. “We ask for everyone’s patience during the construction process. When we hold the grand- opening, there is no doubt it will have been well worth it.”