PARIS — The SAD 17 board of directors on Monday unanimously approved an amendment to its 20-year lease with the Western Maine University and Community College Center to allow school administration offices to relocate to the center on Main Street.

Moving the central offices from leased space at Oxford Plaza on Route 26 in Oxford to the center at 232 Main St. is expected to save the school district about $40,000 per year.

The move will be made over the summer.

SAD 17 owns the large, two-story Main Street building, which is next to Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

“The university is struggling with significant budget cuts and is looking for a way to maintain a presence in western Maine at a reduced cost,” SAD 17 Superintendent Rick Colpitts said. “The college and SAD 17 have an agreement to provide additional space in the afternoon and evenings at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High school for college classes. This gives the college unlimited expansion opportunities that didn’t exist before.”

Colpitts said SAD 17 will share the cost of operating and maintaining the building.

College officials have said the change will save them $125,000 a year.

SAD 17 expects to save at least $40,000 the first year.

The 20-year lease expires in 2024, Colpitts said, and there are options to renew it for 10 more years. The university doesn’t pay rent but does pay all costs associated with operating the facility, he said.

The school district’s lease with Speedway Inc. expired last year, but district officials received a letter from Oxford Plaza owner Bob Bahre, extending the lease for five years, Colpitts said.

Bahre has indicated that he understands the benefit of the move to taxpayers and will support the move, Colpitts said.

The district paid $65,000 to lease the 10,000-square-foot space from Speedway, Inc. In fiscal year 2014, it spent more than $11,300 for utilities, including $8,000 for electricity. Repair and maintenance costs amounted to $6,668, which Colpitts said is a share of the landlord’s costs for plowing, sanding and ongoing maintenance.

SAD 17 took the former Oxford County Fairgrounds exhibition hall and land by eminent domain in 1964 for a new high school. It paid the Oxford County Fair Association $125,000.

The building was used for years to house surplus school equipment, including 700 wooden school desks built by the now defunct Paris Manufacturing Co., as well as pianos and televisions that were auctioned in 1998.

The century-old building was renovated, beginning in 2003, with $1.8 million in state funds and $200,000 from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Some of the original posts, beams and interior windows were saved in the renovation. The renovation earned an award from Maine Preservation in 2004.

In the spring of 2004, the building opened as the Western Maine University and Community College Center. It housed the University of Maine, Central Maine Community College and the CareerCenter, which moved out several years ago.

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