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Archive for Wednesday, November 3, 1999

DISTRICT CLOSE TO MOVING IN AT 110 MCDONALD DRIVE

November 3, 1999

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Activity at the school district's new administration and warehouse complex will heat up as Lawrence slips into the holiday season.

Lawrence school district staff should begin moving in a couple weeks to a new $4.1 million office headquarters and central warehouse, officials say.

"The first to go in will be the technical people," said Jim Freeman, the district's executive director of business.

He said it was important to prepare the site for installation of computer and telephone systems before 100 district employees from six sites are transferred to the two-building complex at 110 McDonald Drive.

"That's the plan," Freeman said. "But, who knows?"

Assistant Supt. Randy Weseman, who has been coordinating the transition with Freeman, said staff would filter to the new buildings in November and December.

Discussions are continuing about placement of personnel at the facility, which is dominated by a two-story building that will be split between warehouse and office space. Current plans call for an office annex to be occupied by Supt. Kathleen Williams, Weseman and several support staff.

The school board's first meeting in the building could occur in January.

Eventually, staff will arrive from Lawrence High School annex (technical support, curriculum material storage), New York School portable (Title I reading and math programs), Cordley School (special education resources), 1919 Del. (library and media services), old India School (warehouse, printing, food services) and the Service Center (central administration).

Voters in the district approved a bond issue in November 1998 that earmarked $2.8 million for a school district warehouse. There was no money designated in the bond issue for an administration center.

The school board voted 4-3 in September to go ahead with the acquisition of the 110 McDonald Drive property from Star Group LLC for use as a warehouse and office complex.

The district long ago paid $283,000 in earnest money and fees. In October, the balance was paid with $2.85 million from issuing bonds and $1 million from the district's capital outlay fund.

The district's plan is to replenish the fund by selling India School and the district's Service Center on Clinton Parkway.

-- Tim Carpenter's phone message number is 832-7155. His e-mail address is tcarpenter@ljworld.com.

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