Long Beach school officials plan to move out of their downtown offices by this summer if a deal to purchase a new office building closes next month.
The district's administrative offices are in a 1930s-era building that is showing increasing signs of decay, business officer Tomio Nishimura said. Water pipes are rusting, the roof leaks, and there are chronic problems with the heating and air conditioning in the five-story, 60,000-square-foot building, Nishimura said.
"It's basically falling apart around us," he said. "We've been doing Band-Aid fixes to our system, and now we're running out of Band-Aids."
After four years of searching, officials recently submitted an offer to buy a 77,000-square-foot building owned by the Cigna insurance company. Nishimura declined to specify a purchase price but said the district plans to spend most of the $3.7 million it expects to receive from selling to the city a transportation yard at Willow Street and Long Beach Boulevard.
The school board has already reviewed the proposed headquarters site on Hughes Way and authorized the purchase of the property, he said.
Once the sale is complete, the district will raze its current headquarters at 701 Locust Ave. and build an elementary school to relieve overcrowding of other schools in the downtown area. The new school would enroll between 500 and 600 students.