The offices of School Union 69 have reopened at 444 Camden Road in Hope, the result of a fortuitous location-swap with Pine Ridge Carpentry.

Last year Christian Andrus, owner of Pine Ridge Carpentry, purchased the building across the street at 431 Camden Road, which at that time held the offices of the Union 69 Superintendent. Andrus said last October that Pine Ridge had outgrown the grange location and was hoping that the new property would allow the company to triple their space.

Superintendent Dianne Helprin said once it learned Pine Ridge Carpentry had purchased the building, the district began looking for office space to rent, but was not having much luck finding a space in Hope, Appleton or Lincolnville, and the board felt strongly the offices should remain in one of the three towns. Then the idea came along to renovate the current carpentry space for the district's office.

444 Camden Road was once the town grange building, and has been converted from a large, open space to accommodate an array of sunlit offices and a conference room. The lower level of the building is now used as storage space. All the work renovating the upstairs for the Union 69 staff was completed by Pine Ridge Carpentry. Helprin and her staff are very happy with their new location.

"Pine Ridge completed all the work, and they did a great job. We have much more space over here, which is particularly important because we have so many records and documents to store. I also think that more people will be able to find us over here," Helprin said at their previous location a number of people were unsure where the Union 69 offices were located.

The interior of building features wooden paneling, polished wooden floors and French doors. The new space is particularly appreciated by Special Education Director Deb Bailey and Bookkeeper Gail Kenney, whose offices before were either in the basement or had no windows. "It's beautiful," said Bailey.

"Everyone is happy with how this worked out, and I'd like to welcome everybody in the community to come in if they have any questions or would like to talk about the school budgets," said Helprin.