Federal Way Public Schools will buy a vacant office building across from City Hall for $8.9 million to relocate its administrative headquarters.
The district’s school board voted this week to authorize the purchase of the 71,000-square-foot, vacant Northwest Corporate Center.
About 120 district employees from the district’s 24,000-square-foot Education Support Center and three other locations will work out of the new headquarters, which is expected to open in July 2011, said Sally McLean, chief financial officer.
The purchase will result in an expanded hub for public employees in Federal Way, with City Hall and the school district headquarters on opposite sides of Eighth Avenue South near the Federal Way Community Center and Celebration Park.
The district also plans to spend $4.5 million to remodel the 25-year-old Northwest Corporate Center at 33330 Eighth Ave. S., which most recently was used by the Weyerhaueser Co.
A down economy made it a good time to buy a building and relocate for less than the cost of new construction, McLean said. The district still needs to reach an agreement with the building’s owner, real estate developer Trammel Crow, to resolve minor problems with water leakage before the sale is final, McLean said.
The district plans to pay for the building by selling the Education Support Center – a former bowling alley at 31405 18th Ave. S. – as well as the district’s maintenance, operation and transportation site. Officials will wait for a later date when sale prices improve.
A new bond-funded transportation center is expected to open in about 18 months near Celebration Park.
McLean said the district also expects to save some operating costs in time and mileage reimbursement by its employees not having to shuttle between four locations and by eliminating one lease.
The school board approved the transaction Tuesday night on a 4-0 vote.
Federal Way Public Schools employs more than 3,000 people and is the state’s eighth-largest school district with about 22,000 students.
Steve Maynard: 253-597-8647