Pelham OKs new space for school offices

The Pelham City Council recently approved a lease for the second floor of the city's Water Administration Building to make room for the Pelham School System central office. (Contributed)

The Pelham City Council recently approved a lease for the second floor of the city’s Water Administration Building to make room for the Pelham School System central office. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

PELHAM – Pelham Board of Education member Paul Howell took an understated approach when describing the current working conditions of the school system’s central office staff during a recent meeting.

“If you go downstairs right now, they are cozy at best,” Howell said, drawing laughter from those in attendance. “They are working in some extremely tight quarters. We need to move them into a larger space.”

The Pelham City Schools central office currently operates out of the lower floor of the Pelham City Hall building, but soon will be moving to a larger space, thanks to agreements approved by the School Board and the City Council in early June.

During its June 1 meeting, the City Council approved an upgraded lease agreement with PCS, which will begin on Aug. 1. The School Board approved the lease agreement the following night.

Through the four-year agreement, the school system will rent the currently vacant second floor of the Water Administration Building, which is behind Pelham City Hall, for $3,900 each month. The four-year agreement includes an option for mutual early termination and one-year automatic extensions after four years unless terminated by either the city or school system.

During a May meeting, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s administration budget by $236,000 to include building out the second floor of the Water Administration Building, to house the BOE central office.

The city will handle portions of the renovation project in-house, and will subcontract portions of the project to other companies, Pelham City Council President Rick Hayes said previously.

Through the renovations, the more than 4,000-square-foot space in the Water Administration Building will be turned into offices for the school system’s central office staff. The PCS central office staff currently occupies a roughly 2,600-square-foot space below Pelham City Hall.

Previous renderings of the project included individual offices, conference rooms and a large meeting room.