Antioch Elementary District 34 officials will purchase a foreclosed building that will serve as the district's new headquarters.
School staff will move into the nearly 9,000-square-foot building at 964 Spafford St. this summer, school board members decided at a meeting Tuesday night. The pink brick, Prairie Style building was constructed in 2001.
The $518,000 building will more than triple the space available for administrative functions and free up some badly needed space in the district's five schools, Superintendent Scott Thompson said.
Cash for the purchase will come from refinancing a $3.9 million loan the district made for an addition at Hillcrest School eight years ago.
District 34 has been renting space for the past 14 years at 800 N. Main St. The move to buy the building will save as much as $200,000 over the next 30 years in lower payments. The district would have paid $1.2 million in rental costs during that time, Thompson said.
"This is a great deal and will not impact taxpayers at all," Board President Joni Kalstrup said Wednesday. "Basically it's refinancing the loan, given the depressed market, and using the dollars from that refinance to pay for the new building."
Currently, the district's technical staff works out of W.C. Petty school and its copy center operates at Hillcrest School. Both will relocate to the new building, opening up space for student use, Thompson said.
It's also common to use the school libraries for teacher training sessions, he added, and closing those facilities to student use. But the new building has plenty of training rooms.
"Not having to move the students out of the library is just one more benefit," Thompson said.
Other than painting and new carpet installation, the building is ready for occupancy, officials said.
"This move will provide immediate relief from overcrowding and be a benefit to both teachers and students," he said.