The Olympian is finally ready to move into its new home at 522 Franklin St. SE, after months of planning and hard work.
But the transition will not be an instant one, and employees and customers will feel the disruption.
On Tuesday, movers will come and pack up furniture, boxes and many of our belongings. On Thursday, our front-desk employees will be ready to help customers in our new location, a site at the corner of Legion Way and Franklin Street in downtown Olympia that used to be home to GHB Insurance.
But all of our technology — the life’s blood of our now primarily digital business — won’t be up and running until mid-March. That means we will be asking for your patience as we do some of our work without landlines, without scanners and faxes, and sometimes off site.
Email will be the best way to reach us, for the most part, during the transition. In fact, firstname.lastname@example.org is always a great way to reach the news staff on duty.
But once the transition is complete, we will be in a space specifically created for the news organization we have become. It will provide offices for the advertising staff and for our reporters and videographers, who will have much easier access to Olympia City Hall, the Capitol Campus, and other downtown locales.
The move is much overdue. As the newspaper has evolved from being simply a newspaper to a multimedia news provider, we have stopped printing the newspaper at our site, and we’ve consolidated our business services — everything from human resources to distribution — with our sister publication The News Tribune. That means more than half the Bethel Street building we are leaving has been sitting empty.
Once we move out, however, the building will be filled by an organization in need of space: the Olympia School District, the building’s new owner. It will begin remodeling the building into its own administrative headquarters, and it will be school district employees who soon will enjoy the views and the space of the beautiful building on the hill.
There is some sadness in leaving our home at Bethel Street and Fourth Avenue. On Friday evening, we invited staff and former staff to stop in for a champagne toast to honor all of the wonderful employees and all of the hard work that has happened there. It was an emotional gathering filled with stories and nostalgia from people whose time at The Olympian spanned 46 years of newspapering.
But The Olympian is changing with the times, with the community, and with the world of news, and we welcome our readers to come along for the ride. Stay tuned for an open house at our new location in the coming months.