LOWELL -- The School Department is recommending that its Central Administration offices return to the Bon Marche building downtown, as well as a building across the street.
Jay Lang, Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Operations, is recommending the School Committee approve entering into a three-year lease with two one-year options for 29,920 square feet of office space at 155 Merrimack St., which is the Bon Marche building.
When the space owned by the Bon Marche Trust is fully occupied, the annual cost to the School Department will be $333,623.
Lang is also recommending the School Department enter into a three-year lease with two one-year option extensions for 10,045 square feet at 144 Merrimack St., owned by Bertos Nominee Trust.
The annual cost to the schools will be $90,194 when the space is fully occupied.
Lang estimates the cost for the leasing of office space in the current fiscal year will be $306,404 based upon the occupancy schedule.
The School Committee will vote on Lang's recommendations at its meeting Wednesday night. The city had received four lease proposals in response to its request for proposals.
The School Department needs to move some of its offices out of its current location in the Rogers School by Aug. 1.
The potential move back to the Bon Marche building comes just five years after the School Committee voted in 2009 to adopt then-Superintendent Chris Scott's recommendation to move the School Department's headquarters out of the Bon Marche and into the then-closed Rogers School on Highland Street.
The School Department had been paying $656,900 annually in rent for 50,000 square feet of the 99,000-square-foot Bon Marche building at 155 Merrimack St.
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