The Tyee Site is open for business! ESD 113’s home office has reopened and is ready to welcome the public once again for the first time since March 2020.
Prior to the pandemic, the Tyee Site was a bustling hub for school board meetings, business meetings, church gatherings, cosplay conventions, and more. That all changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Washington.
“At the beginning of COVID, there was absolutely nobody here in the building,” said Facility Manager Ed Otos. “Over the last year or so, slowly more and more people are coming back.”
Facilities had a unique experience being one of the few departments to stay on-site throughout the pandemic. Amidst the quiet and empty halls, they found themselves busier than ever.
The distribution of personal protection equipment and the COVID testing site made up the bulk of their work for much of the pandemic. They had pallets upon pallets of equipment and orders from the numerous school districts coming in weekly.
Beyond that, they also found themselves busy with general upkeep even more. Without events to tend to, they could hit some other projects like power washing the building and installing plastic guards.
“We switched from doing most of our work in the conference center to COVID related items,” says Otos. “All in all, it’s been fairly positive. It seems like we flourished even more because there were more opportunities that came with such horrible thing that happened.”
When guests return to the building, they will be greeted by a new face at the receptionist’s desk.
Kelly Salzer is the new receptionist, taking over the position in the past month. For anyone with questions, she’ll be there to lend a helping hand.
Salzer has worked at ESD 113 since April 2009. She has spent over 30 years in the administrative field. The reopening has her excited to see the building filled once more.
“ESD 113 has some great people working here,” adds Salzer. “I have made many friends in the last 13 years and hope to make more. I’ll be glad to see some old faces and some new faces too.”
Otos is also ready to get back to events and people back in the building.
“It’s going to be even better when the masks come off,” laughed Otos. “There are a lot of new employees who I’ve never even seen what they really look like.
“Right before the omicron surge, we were just starting to see people back in the building. We had an event with about 200 people. It was just a rush to my staff and myself to have that many people in the building. It was like the old days.”