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It's Al's Turn: A new office for making memories

The following is an opinion column written by an Echo Press editorial staff member. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.

OurTurn Al.jpg
Al and Celeste Edenloff stand by the Echo Press entrance at Seventh Avenue for the last time. The newspaper has moved into a new office at the Turning Leaf Business Center.
Celeste Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press
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Extra! Extra! Read all about it! (I always wanted to say that.) The Echo Press has a new home and the newspaper’s employees are settling in nicely.

It’s a great space inside the Turning Leaf Business Center off of County Road 45, just south of the Alexandria Area YMCA.

Our former location at 225 7th Ave. East served us well over the years. I still remember when we moved in, excitedly, back in 1994 – the “newness” of the building, all the cubicles, a conference room where we could all gather, and the ample space. Before then, we were squeezed into a building on Fifth Avenue West, just west of what was then Braun’s Bakery and later became Roer’s Family Bakery. Wish I had a nickel for every roll or doughnut that Larry Holverson, our sports editor, and I had during our morning breaks.

Our Seventh Avenue spot, built by our parent company, Forum Communications, was spacious and open and provided many great memories – Christmas parties, open houses and fun competitive events for employees like Easter egg hunts, Halloween activities and ugly sweater contests.

Oh, and we did some work too. It would be interesting to know how many interviews were conducted in that building, either in person or by phone, how many “mug shots” were taken, how many advertisements were sold, how many subscriptions were purchased or renewed.

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But as in any line of work, change happens – not just at our newspaper office but at newspapers all around the country. Large buildings are no longer needed. Our production area that once made up about half of our building wasn’t used as much because the layout and design of newspapers transformed into a regional design hub that work on multiple newspapers in our company, practically around the clock.

The design transition was difficult. I miss all of our design team very much. They were all very talented people, fun to work with and brimming with creativity. Years ago, we had around 10 designers working in our building. I still see a lot of them around town and at community events and it’s so good to share memories about the good old days. We’ve even talked about getting everyone together for an Echo Press reunion. From what I can tell, they are all thriving in their new careers. That’s the one thing about change: It can be very difficult and painful at first but it also opens new opportunities and new goals to accomplish.

So now we are moving into a new space, trying to settle into a new routine. It’s been going well. The management of the Turning Leaf Business Center has been very accommodating and is just as excited as we are about the move. We’ll be sharing space with other tenants of the building with access to everything a good office needs – conference rooms large and small, a phenomenal break/kitchen area (with coffee machines and a cappuccino maker), storage areas, outdoor grills and picnic areas, plenty of parking, even heated sidewalks in the entrance area.

It’s an ideal spot to start making memories in.

Three years ago, I wrote an editorial about our Seventh Avenue building being up for sale. The final point of the editorial still holds true today: No matter where we are housed, we will continue to provide award-winning coverage of Douglas County and the surrounding area via online, mobile and print mediums. We value your readership and hope that you wish us well.

“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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