McHenry County’s Regional Office of Education soon will be moving to a larger space that will allow it to host a testing center, officials said.
In addition to helping the office of education, the move also will help the county’s finance department, which is trying to get all its employees into one space, Regional Superintendent of Schools Diana Hartmann said.
The office of education is slated to move to a building off Route 31 in McHenry, which Hartmann said will make the office more centrally located. The space will be 3,156 square feet, which is larger than the office’s current spot of 2,068 square feet, Deputy County Administrator Scott Hartman said. This also will allow the testing center to run about 850 square feet.
While the move will give more space to both the office of education and the county’s finance department, it also will allow for a testing center at the office of education’s new building, Hartmann said.
“The county initiated it,” she said. “But if we’re going to do this, let’s do it right and push for the [testing center].”
This kind of testing center will provide more than 200 different kinds of tests, including teacher and administrator certification and general education development tests, or GEDs, Hartmann said.
Currently, someone in McHenry County must travel to neighboring counties to be tested, Hartmann said.
“I always had to drive to Schaumburg to take my tests,” she said. “This will be really good.”
The testing center eventually could generate some revenue, which will allow the office to contribute to its rent of the space, Hartmann said. The goal is to see some type of revenue within the first year.
While it’s not yet known how many computers for testing will be available, Hartmann said she wants to try to start out with at least 12. Since it’ll be in its own building, the hours of availability also will be more flexible.
“You have issues of security of coming and leaving since we’re in the [administration building],” Hartmann said.
It’s not expected the office will move into its new space before the school year starts, Hartmann said. She predicts it won’t happen until at least October.
On the finance side, Deputy Administrator Hartman said in recent years, the county’s finance department’s roles and responsibilities have grown. That, combined with the office not being located in one spot currently, makes its job a little tougher.
Taking over the office of education’s current spot will allow the department’s staff to be together, Hartman said.
“Right now they’re very decentralized, and this will allow them to centralize into one space,” Hartman said.