They're not reading the classified ads, but Lawrence school administrators are looking for new digs, nonetheless.
As part of the school bond issue that passed in November, the district is looking for new warehouse space, ideally in a location that would suit more than just storage needs. If possible, the district would like to house administration and supplies in one centralized location.
When the district was looking at the possible purchase of the Lawrence Riverfront Plaza Factory Outlets, administrators were excited, Assistant Supt. Craig Fiegel said.
"The riverfront mall seemed like the right deal," he said. "That became the board's first choice."
The mall was purchased by a group of buyers that included members of the Simons family, who own and operate the Lawrence Journal-World and Sunflower Cablevision. The option on the mall space isn't completely out of the question, Fiegel said.
"We're still looking at some work in the riverfront mall," he said. "We'll certainly have some conversations with those people, but what we need is a large amount of space."
Also up for consideration is the former All-Star Dairy building at 110 McDonald Dr., currently occupied by Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae does not own the building.
"The building is occupied by the overflow from Sallie Mae," Fiegel said. The building has 60,000 square feet with room for expansion.
When Fiegel first investigated the idea of leasing the building six months ago, Sallie Mae was scaling back and thought it would return those employees to the main building at 2000 Bluffs Dr.
"Now, Sallie Mae has made some interest in maintaining some space," Fiegel said.
That leaves the school district to explore other options again.
"The Tanger Mall is still one, and the other option is to think about building with the idea to expand over time," Fiegel said. "We still have a lot of options."
The district is not on a specific time line to find or build space, Fiegel said.
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