New year, new building: FTHRA, other programs move to 50,000-square-foot complex

Sue Guinn Legg • Jan 2, 2012 at 8:00 PM

The First Tennessee Human Resource Agency and several of the nonprofit service programs operated under its administrative umbrella are beginning the new year in new offices at 704 Rolling Hills Drive.

FTHRA’s administrative offices, the NET Trans rural transportation call center and the Safe Passage Domestic Violence Shelter office, along with the Senior Community Service Employment, Foster Grandparents, Personal Support Services and Homemaker programs, began their move to FTHRA’s new 50,000-square-foot complex near Buffalo Mountain Park the week before Christmas and vacated their former offices in the Burlington Park Mall on New Year’s Eve.

While making the move during the holidays was difficult and many of the programs are still operating out of moving boxes, FTHRA Executive Director Dale Fair said the goal was to vacate their former offices before the new year when their leases at Burlington Park begin to expire.

With FTHRA as their new landlord, Fair said the nonprofit programs’ monthly rents will decrease immediately, saving operational costs that can be used for future expansions of their services.

“It’s going to help them. That’s the beauty of this,” Fair said Thursday as moving trucks and utility vans loaded with furniture, equipment, supplies and case files continued to arrive at the new FTHRA headquarters.

Most important, Fair said, is that all the programs’ services have continued without interruption during the move and all their phone numbers and email addresses have remained the same.

From here, the plan calls for FTHRA’s probation programs and the central kitchen for its regional Nutrition Program to remain at Burlington Park until work on their space in the new facility is completed this spring.

Located in the former Mazer Corp. building off Buffalo Road and Lafe Cox Drive, renovations at the FTHRA headquarters are well under way and progressing swiftly.

Concrete floors have been sanded and stained and walls have been built to create new office spaces. And at the end of last week, a new duct work system was rising in an unfinished area at the rear of the former industrial building that will soon house a new training area for the NET Trans program and also provide additional space for future program expansions.

When all the dust settles, hopefully by mid-February, Fair said, a grand opening celebration will be held at the new facility with the 26 city and county majors and state lawmakers who make up FTHRA’s governing board.

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