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Veteran school maintenance director taking job in Charlotte County

After assembling a team of which he is very proud that has made strides in keeping Halifax County Public Schools energy efficient, Director of Maintenance and Operations Larry Roller is resigning.  

The director since 1990, Roller’s resignation will become effective Feb. 28 when he takes his maintenance skills to Charlotte County Public Schools. 

Growing up in the northeastern section of Halifax County about a mile from Charlotte County, Roller said he plans to return to help Charlotte County schools progress in energy conservation. 

Being that Charlotte County Public Schools don’t have an energy conservation program, Roller said, “I’m all about having a vision and moving to that vision. I really feel like I can move them forward.” 

Halifax’s energy-reduction program has “made big strides,” and Roller is “proud of what we’ve accomplished.” 

The last energy report showed the schools’ annual savings at $300,000. 

The achievements of the energy-reduction program has given Roller “a lot of purpose.”

 “In a small way, I have had an effect on the environment. Also, we’re teaching the kids how to provide a good environment,” said Roller. “It gives me a lot of satisfaction.” 

When describing the program, Roller said it was lots of little things that add up such as getting rid of electrical boilers, installing a dual compressor chiller and upgrading lights to T8 lamps. 

“Saving energy conserves natural resources. Conserving natural resources saves dollars. Those dollars can be spent on education,” said Roller. 

While improving overall conditions in the schools to make sure they’re comfortable, the director has been in charge of maintenance in all the school buildings including doors, windows, plumbing, electrical and ground maintenance. 

His maintenance skills come from experience prior to his position at the schools. 

Roller began his first job using his mechanical engineer degree from Virginia Tech at Burlington Industries where he said they “really trained their employees well.” 

At Burlington Industries, he worked with project management, wastewater, roofing, boiler room and basically facilities management to name a few. 

“When the position with the school was advertised, it seemed like what I’d been trained for. It fit like a glove,” said Roller. 

Now that he is leaving Halifax County schools, it has proven to be one of his hardest decisions. 

“When I had to walk into my shop to see the guys…I said listen, this is a team, the manager may be leaving, but this team is still here,” said Roller. 

Since beginning his position, Roller has hired 17 out of the 18 men for his department. 

When speaking of the one he didn’t hire, he said, “He just happened to be hired before I was. I told him I would’ve hired you too.” 

Roller said he is proud of the team he has assembled and continued to praise their skills and work ethic. 

“Whoever comes in here next is going to have a really talented skilled group of guys to work with,” said Roller. 

He said his team is professional and provides a sufficient service department who “do it all for the teachers and kids.” 

“I would put them up against any maintenance department,” said Roller.  

Halifax County Public School System has been a “good place” for Roller to work, and he said he is afraid he will “end up being homesick.”