PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The School Department is increasing the amount of space it leases on Eagle Street.
Earlier this year, the department moved its Student Resource Center out of leased space at St. Luke's Square to Eagle Street. But, after moving into the fourth floor, it realized it was too small.
"The space is smaller than what we left on Whipple Street the previous year and we have struggled with certain aspects of the set up of the space," Superintendent Jason McCandless said.
The SRC was supposed to be operating with 2,045 square feet but the number of students and the layout posed difficulties. The landlord, Scarafoni Associates, informed the department that the larger third floor would soon be available.
"It is nearly double the space," McCandless said.
Earlier this week, the School Committee approved a new lease for that space, abandoning the fourth-floor rental. Now the department will look to move into the lower floor in November and signed a 20-month lease for the 5,500 square feet.
The additional square footage does come with an increased cost. The department was leasing at $18 per square foot for a total cost of $36,810 per year. The third floor will cost $13.63 per square foot and come to $74,965.
"That is approximately $15,000 less than we were paying on Whipple Street," McCandless said.
The superintendent said the budget still penned the cost at $100,000 so there is money available. The lease will expire on June 20, 2019, but the city has a one-year option to renew.
The lease includes not only utilities but also cleaning. McCandless said three companies had responded to the request for proposal but only Scarafoni Associates submitted a proposal.
The Student Resource Center is used as a place for intervention programs. The administration has been overhauling the way it handles discipline and placing those interventions in different physical locations than before.
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