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School district official says historic administration building may be gifted to the downtown library

The St. Joseph School District is changing addresses and school officials are deciding what to do with the old office space after they move.

Posted: Jul 8, 2021 5:04 PM
Updated: Jul 9, 2021 10:00 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph School District is changing addresses and school officials are deciding what to do with the old office space after they move.

The district is moving administrative offices from Felix Street to the former Noyes Elementary School building on North 26th Street.

The St. Joseph School District’s top financial official says they are currently discussing gifting the building to the Downtown Library Board after they leave. The building, and its operating costs, are currently shared by the Downtown Library.

“It’s been a great partnership for years and we are not going to leave them hanging,” said Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations Dr. Gabe Edgar. “Right now we own the building and they share half the cost of utilities as their rent so to speak but we want to make it right for them and if they can utilize all of the space, we might even look into gifting it to them."

Edgar said he has met with the Library Board about the next steps but nothing has been decided.

While the financial impact on the library is yet to be determined, the district believes this is the right financial decision for them. Edgar said the district has spent a fortune maintaining the downtown historic building.

“You’ve heard over the last two-and-a-half years that we have too many buildings and we thought we would start with the downtown administration building,” Edgar said. “The wall up by the parking lot cost us almost $200,000. We had to redo the dome glass last year, which was $100,000, so it was kind of nickel-and-diming us to death. It is a bigger facility and it is an older facility so it costs a lot to heat and keeps up.”

The building would house administrators, special education, and academic services staff. It will also continue to be the home of the Virtual Academy which set up shop for the 2020-2021 school year. District officials say they do not anticipate everyone to be moved over from the old office building until January 1, 2022.

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Just a little bit more sunshine today across northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. The air quality is much better today with the haze starting to clear out of the area. Tonight will be cool and calm with lows in the mid 60s and light winds. There is a slight chance for isolated showers tonight and tomorrow afternoon, although most of the area should stay dry. Dry and sunny conditions continue into the weekend as temperatures start to warm up again. Highs look to stay in the 80s until midweek and then start to climb into the 90s as we head into the weekend.
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