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The Kansas State Board of Education will hold one last meeting, starting Tuesday, in the building that has been its home since the board was established in 1966.
That was the year that Kansas voters passed a constitutional amendment putting governance of the state's public school system under an elected State Board of Education. It was also the year the Department of Education moved into the Scott Building at 10th and Quincy in downtown Topeka.
The building is about two blocks east of the Statehouse and the Judicial Center where, in a twist of historical irony, the Kansas Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in a case testing the limits of that same constitutional amendment, which also requires the Kansas Legislature to make “suitable provision” for financing public schools.
In earlier years, the building housed an automobile dealership and, at one time, a bowling alley.
In a message on the department's website, Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker said the move is necessary because the lease on the Scott building is up for renewal, and the agency has outgrown the limited space there.
“I've often referred to our space being so tight that we'd need to add "bunk cubicles" if we hired anyone else,” DeBacker said.
In October, the department and its roughly 250 employees will begin moving into the Landon State Office Building, directly east of the statehouse. The board's October meeting will be held in a committee room of the statehouse. Its first meeting in the new agency headquarters will be Nov. 12-13.