By Sue Kiesewetter
WEST CHESTER TWP. - Lakota Schools administrators will move into a two-story, concrete building in June as work is finishing on two schools on the site.
Contracts totaling just over $1.4 million were awarded this week for the building on the former VanGorden farm, an 85-acre site at the northwest corner of LeSourdsville-West Chester and Princeton roads in Liberty Township.
The 27,000-square-foot administration building will have an entrance off Princeton Road, with the elementary school to its northeast and the junior school to its west.
The move will bring together people now housed at the central office on Tylersville Road, at the Lakota Service Center, the special services office on Cincinnati-Dayton Road and office space at Lakota East and West high schools.
The technology, special services, curriculum, business and food services departments will be in one location. Buildings and grounds, transportation and maintenance will remain at the service center, said Superintendent Kathleen Klink.
"When you can actually talk with the people, side by side, or go down the hall instead of seeing them haphazardly, you can address needs differently than if they're spread throughout the district," Mrs. Klink said.
"It will give us space to have meetings. We have no space that's large enough for more than 15 people."
Space now being used for administrators will be freed up for academics, Mrs. Klink said.
For example, when the technology department moves to the new building it will free up space on the second floor of Lakota West.
The nearly $2 million cost will be paid primarily from interest generated by a levy approved two years ago that provided $44.5 million for the schools' construction, and the sale of property being vacated by the move, said Treasurer Alan Hutchinson.
The district will also get money from this week's closing on a house on the Ridge Junior School property and the future sale of the old post office/jail on Cincinnati-Dayton Road now housing special services, Mr. Hutchinson said.
The project has been put on the fast track with site work and pre-construction tasks already completed and foundation work beginning soon, said Bill Weltzer, project manager with Dugan & Meyers Construction Co. It is on target for a June 1 move-in provided the weather cooperates, he said.
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