SAD 52 has been offered the option of purchasing two floors of the Leavitt Institute.

TURNER – Who will occupy the Leavitt Institute building continues to be a problem.

Representatives of the SAD 52 Board of Directors, the Turner Budget Committee, members of the Leavitt Institute Committee and the Board of Selectmen discussed the options Monday night.

In a special meeting held prior to the selectmen meeting, representatives of SAD 52 asked if the district’s administrative offices could remain in the building until June 30, 2004, instead of leaving on June 30 of this year. The original agreement with the district extended to this summer but a lack of alternative space for the district led to the request.

The Leavitt Institute Committee has made arrangements for the Turner Public Library to move to its permanent space on the third floor as of January 2004, and to supply space for the Turner History Rooms. If the district remains in the building, using the second and third floors for administrative space while occupying the first floor for Tripp Middle School classroom space, these plans could not be put in place.

The district has been offered the option of purchasing the basement and first floors of the building, which sits on the Turner Center campus, in lieu of a new building at an approximate cost of $443,000.

This option was previously rejected by the school board, which is now facing funding problems for leased space. The state is beginning to cut subsidies on rented space. Therefore, SAD 52 will have to take action on administrative space or local taxpayers will become responsible for the entire leased-space cost beginning in 2007, according to officials.

No decisions were made Monday. Representatives of the various committees are expected to meet again to discuss what, if any, arrangements can be made concerning the Leavitt Institute space.

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