College sells human resources building as a continued effort to relieve financial stress

By Victoria Gill-Gomez

News Editor

Washington College sold the Office of Human Resources’ building, at 500 Washington Avenue, near the Constance Stuart Larrabee Arts Center.

According to Interim President of the College Dr. Wayne Powell, the building was a non-strategic asset whose sale was agreed upon by the Administration and the Board of Visitors & Governors.

This is the seventh building sold by the campus in the last year in order to reduce the College’s financial stress.

Much of the business information remains anonymous, but the building was sold for $275,000 to a hearing center.

“We continue to make good progress on divesting non-strategic property. We are bringing in cash and shedding all of the carrying costs associated with these properties — taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance,” Dr. Powell said.

With the loss of their building, there are a few areas on campus as possible offices for the HR team. 

One favorable option currently, according to Dr. Powell, is sharing the same space as Intercultural Affairs. However, no location has been set yet.

“[Human Resources] is engaged with our colleagues across campus on a multi-departmental office/space study to understand and make suggestions for where various teams and individuals may be located or relocated. I trust this team will generate some great ideas and options,” Director of Human Resources Carolyn Burton said.

Burton has been with the College since September 2015. As a member of the senior staff, Burton was a part of the conversation in putting this property up for sale, along with other College properties such as the Advancements building.

As shared on the HR website, the Office “provides programs and services in recruitment, benefits, compensation, policies and procedures, professional development, and other employee-related issues that support Washington College’s employees and its academic mission.”

As reflected, Burton said she completely understands the College’s need to reduce expenses and make the best use of the College space.

Like other staff and faculty members of the College, the four members of the Human Resources team are currently working remotely per the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Maryland state, and College guidelines with hopes of returning for the spring semester in-person.

Because of the Office’s transition to a different space, many files and materials that were in the 500 Washington Avenue building are now kept in a file room on the ground floor of Bunting Hall.

“The Human Resources Department continues to support and serve the staff and faculty of the College, whether working on-campus or off-campus; having a co-located space where we can meet face-to-face and do collaborative and, at times confidential, work, when the pandemic enables such a return to that type of in-person work, will be most productive to enable the best support of our College employees,” Burton said.

Featured Photo caption: The Office of Human Resource can be contacted from Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. either at hr@washcoll.edu or 410-778-7298. Photo by Mark Cooley.

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