LThe Board of Education last week approved plans to build a new headquarters for Leeds City School district’s administration on vacant property bordering Leeds Middle School.
The school district bought the property on Hurst Avenue several years ago because of its location to the middle school that was built in the last five years, said Superintendent John J. Moore.
Leeds administrators have worked out of leased offices since 2001, and Moore said they “need more space for our growing district, and we desire to get out of the rental business.”
There have been other plans for the Board of Education to get out of the rental business. The most recent was giving the administration office space within a new municipal complex the city planned to build with a tax increase. But voters turned down the increase in a January referendum.
To pay for building a new office, Leeds school district are getting an advance in funding from the Public School & College Authority instead of the annual appropriation. PSCA funds are meant for facility maintenance, upgrades, expansion and more.The Leeds Board of Education previously approved the advance draw against the PSCA allocation for the municipal complex but shifted gears when the referendum failed, Moore said.
Now plans are moving forward to expand the school board’s office space, which is currently housed in an office on 8thAvenue next to where several new businesses have moved in and made parking tight.
Last week, the Leeds school board reviewed a concept drawing for a new central office building and approved using Lathan Associates as the architect. Lathan also designed plans for the proposed athletic fields and municipal building that residents voted down.
The new facility will have approximately 5,000 square feet and include a board meeting room, storage space and office space for central office staff, as well as 50 parking spaces for employees, visitors and spectators on game nights, Moore said.
The “look” of the facility will match the facade and materials at LMS, he said.
As for timing, he expects construction to start this summer and move in May 1, 2020.
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