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TO:                  Superintendents, Principals, State Board of Education, School Board Chairs, Deans, MaineLead, Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education


FROM:            J. Duke Albanese


DATE:             January 3, 2001


RE:                  Update – “The Move”



            I trust that all of you enjoyed the holiday break, gathering with family and friends while, gaining some needed respite from the hectic pace of our daily lives.  On behalf of the staff at the Department of Education, I wish all of you a healthy and productive New Year.


            Well, things here in Augusta are proving to be most eventful.  Early yesterday morning, DOE employees launched their first day in our new “digs”, the completely renovated Burton M. Cross State Office Building.  Our fifth floor location offers an impressive view of the Capitol and its surroundings, and the new, open office space, while considerably different from the workplace settings that most of us have experienced, offers a professional environment as we work diligently to serve Maine’s schools, educators, and the public.


            It would be fair to characterize today and yesterday as pretty chaotic with all of our belongings scattered in boxes throughout the office space, with our telephones just going on line, and our computer systems being activated and fine tuned.  In the midst of these events, I was called and invited to prepare a presentation on key education matters for the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee of the 120th Legislature, a clear message that those Maine citizens representing all of us are up and running, working through organizational matters, but poised to get started on the budget and scores of proposed legislation.


            Despite the challenges we are progressing well.  With few exceptions, all e-mail and telephone connections are now restored.  However, the unpacking and organizing in our new location remains a major task, and I ask your indulgence regarding any inconveniences which may result due to our inability to provide services to you as fast as we would like, during the next few days.

As you know, all telephone numbers at our new location have changed.  You can get our new telephone numbers from the Department’s web-site at (click on “New telephone numbers for employees”).  The Department’s fax machines are now in the process of being connected; they should be ready to receive faxes before the end of Wednesday, January 3rd.


            The Department staff who are currently housed in our Stone Street facility across the river are still in their current location and will move to this new location later this week.  Until then, their telephone and e-mail connections are unchanged.  The Stone Street staff will be on administrative leave from noon on Thursday, January 4th through the end of the week, while their files and equipment are being moved.  During this time, there can be no e-mail or telephone contact.  They will return on Monday, January 8th, and I anticipate that all e-mail and telephone connections will be operational at that time.


            Once we have settled in, we look forward to hosting meetings with you.  We will plan an “Open House” soon, so you can be introduced to the facility and its layout.  It would be a huge understatement to say that our “new digs” are much easier to navigate than our previous, very tired facility!


Thanks are in order to each of you for your sincere understanding while we have been preoccupied with “the move”.