Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) Superintendent Steve Joel and Mayor Chris Beutler today announced an agreement for LPS to lease office space in the City’s Municipal Services Center to house workers displaced when a fire destroyed school district offices last week. About 100 LPS employees today began moving into the former Experian building at 949 West Bond in northwest Lincoln.
"This tragedy has demonstrated how interconnected our community really is," Joel said. "We are grateful for the support and generosity of the Mayor and the City of Lincoln."
"Lincoln strongly supports its children and their education," said Mayor Beutler. "It was only natural that the City of Lincoln would stand ready to help our kids and the people who teach them. We remain committed to LPS during this transition and will continue to be a good neighbor."
The City Council Monday approved the lease agreement for 41,000 square feet at $12.50 per square foot. The agreement is for 15 months and can be extended six months. The building will house LPS employees working in Curriculum and Instruction, Federal Programs, Athletics and Extracurricular Activities, Evaluation and Assessment and other areas. The space is furnished with desks and chairs, and LPS will move in computers, phones and other office equipment throughout the week.
The City bought the 355,000-square-foot Experian property last fall for $6.5 million to consolidate City operations and to save money on the future lease of space. Experian continues to lease a portion of the building for its employees. The Engineering Services Division of the Public Works and Utilities Department now occupies a temporary location in the building while its permanent offices are being renovated. The Division is delaying its move to the permanent space to make room for the LPS employees. Other City agencies that now lease space have not yet moved into the building so those portions of the building also are available.
Mayor Beutler said the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) also is working with LPS to provide services. LLCHD and LPS share responsibility for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The LLCHD offices at 33rd and "O" streets are being used as a location for LPS employees to meet with families, use office equipment and take care of other office functions.