The Daviess County Board of Education on Thursday approved an agreement to purchase for just more than $5 million the 11.62-acre property that previously housed U.S. Bank at the corner if Frederica Street and Southtown Boulevard. Officials said the facility will be called the DCPS School Support Center, and it will consolidate district personnel currently spread across five locations including the Central Office.
Superintendent Matt Robbins said U.S. Bank building and property cost is $43.91 per square foot for a total price of $5,050,000. He said that is less than 20% of the cost of new construction, not including what it would cost to purchase 11.62 acres of land.
District and school facilities are constructed, purchased, and improved utilizing restricted and exclusive Building Fund dollars. These funds can not be used for operating purposes such as personnel, equipment, supplies, and materials.
“DCPS has viewed other properties over the last 8 years, however this location best serves the needs of the district to unify the staff to one location, allowing for greater efficiency and lower building maintenance costs and creating opportunities for essential staff collaboration to serve the staff and students within the Daviess County Public Schools,” Robbins said. “The purchase of this property is a result of being aware that district support facilities have been undersized and inadequate for decades, however dedication to school facilities needed to take precedence.”
Robbins said DCPS personnel is currently operating and providing support to the district from five separate buildings, not including the DCPS Transportation building.
Those buildings include:
- Current District Office on Southeastern Parkway
- Current Learning Center property – Training Space and Spec Ed Office Space on Parrish Plaza Drive
- District Office spaced used at Heritage Park High School
- Renting office space at OCTC Southeast Campus
- Maintenance Department on Southtown Blvd
Robbins said with a total of 115,000 square feet, the two buildings on the property would expand access to schools and provide the opportunity for new amenities, including “world-class” Teacher/Staff Training and Development Center.
The renovation work required will be focused solely on structuring the space to fit the district’s goals, as both buildings are in “excellent condition and have been well maintained,” Robbins said.
“This property is central to our district and surpasses all of our immediate needs, while providing space that will allow us to dream of innovative ways we can recruit and retain teachers,” Robbins said. “We also have the capacity to provide some exclusive employee benefits to our 1,800 employees as we think creatively. This space also gives us the opportunity to dream big in terms of what this facility can provide for our DCPS staff and students now and into the future.”
Board Chair Todd Anderson said the move is a unique opportunity that will advance the school district for many years to come.
“With the purchase of this property, it creates ample opportunities for the district to continue and expand on the level of excellence they provide the students and staff of Daviess County Public Schools,” he said. “This puts our staff in one state of the art location to collaborate, support, and work in an environment that has been needed for the district for a long time.”
DCPS may consider the potential future sale of existing properties that would be vacated with the consolidation, but no decisions have been made at this time.
Officials said it will likely be at least August before the deal closes, and there is no timeline yet for when renovations will begin and when the district will start utilizing the new facility.