Daleville shared-services center takes shape
Botetourt County Administrator Gary Larrowe spent part of October overseeing the placement of cubicles in a new shared-services center in Daleville for the Virginia Community College System (VCCS).
VCCS will consolidate many administrative services — ranging from procurement to human resources — previously handled at each of the commonwealth’s 23 community colleges.
VCCS announced in March that it had signed a lease for a Daleville building. The shared-services center opened in July with one employee and now has about 20. It is expected to have 64 employees by next summer and 190 by January 2019.
“These are state jobs with good benefits,” Larrowe says. “There is technology associated with the jobs, so the wages are a little higher. It could end up resulting in a much larger operation.”
The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors agreed to pay for 117 cubicle workstations at the center. In fulfilling that obligation, Larrowe learned from Nancy Rodrigues, Virginia’s secretary of administration, that surplus office cubicles and furniture at Fort Monroe were being sold through the state Department of General Services. “The cubicles were unbelievable quality,” Larrowe says.
He originally expected the county to spend about $160,000 on the workstations, but, by buying surplus cubicles from Fort Monroe, he was able to save $60,000 to $70,000. “It was much cheaper than I anticipated,” he says. “The cubicles only cost $50 a piece, but we had to have them moved in, put back together and reconfigured.”
VCCS signed a performance agreement with the county stating that it would have all of its jobs in place in 36 months. If it falls short, it will have to pay the county $500 for each job below 171. “I have every reason to believe they will fulfill the jobs” requirement, Larrowe says.
The building housing the center previously was a call center for nTelos, a wireless telephone company recently acquired by Shentel. “The building is a beautiful, high-end facility that matches up with the community college system,” Larrowe says. “It already had data running into the building. That was an added value for them.”
The building was selected from eight possible sites around the commonwealth considered for the center.
The center’s development comes at a time when Botetourt is on a growth spurt. “We’ve added about 800 new jobs this year in Botetourt,” Larrowe says. “We have good wages, a good school system and we have good places to live. All of these were factors for the community college system.”