TAKE A PHOTO TOUR — Port Neches-Groves moves into new administration building

Published 12:38 am Wednesday, July 13, 2022

PORT NECHES — More than four years after finalizing plans to move the district administration building into a former credit union, Port Neches-Groves ISD is now operating in a new, upgraded space.

Approximately two weeks ago, administrators began moving into the building at 776 Magnolia, said Superintendent Mike Gonzales. And Monday, trustees held their first board meeting in the room backlit with purple and white.

“It’s a great place for training and for groups of administrators and teachers to meet; and we’re very, very excited about it,” said Board President Scott Bartlett.

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“I’d like to personally thank the maintenance department for the hard work that they put into not just the design but the implementation of this building. It’s definitely something to be proud of.”

In 2017, the district entered into an agreement with Neches Federal Credit Union to trade land. A lot on the corner of Magnolia Avenue and Merriman Street that belonged to the district would become home to Neches FCU’s administration building, and the former Neches building on Magnolia Avenue would be renovated for the district.

“We did not purchase the building,” Gonzales said. “We traded the building for a piece of property, and people can go down there and see another beautiful building — the new Neches Federal Credit Union.”

In 2020, the board approved $450,000 for the remodel and an additional $267,850 for technology.

“Refurbishing it cost less than $1 million,” Gonzales said. “This facility would cost anybody $7 million-plus to build, so I think that it’s something we can be proud of for years. Our technology department worked really hard to make sure everything was working appropriately. I love the setup.”
The superintendent referred to the building as belonging to administrators and community members.

“This is your admin building, and we are here to serve you,” he said. “We hope that you enjoy this new building.”

In addition to a large board room that seats 100 in the audience, the building is equipped with multiple offices, meeting rooms and other amenities such as a kitchen.

The former administration building on Avenue C was built in 1955. Gonzales said it likely would be torn down.

“There’s no reason to keep it up,” he said. “It’s an old building and it costs us a lot to keep it running. We’re trying to save money every chance we get.”