PARIS — The SAD 17 administration team is gearing up for its move to new headquarters in Paris next month.

“The Oxford offices close June 30 for good,” Superintendent Rick Colpitts said. The new Paris office — the site of the former Oxford fairgrounds exposition building at 232 Main St. — will open on July 14 to the public.

SAD 17 signed a lease with the Western Maine University and Community College Center, on Route 26 in Paris in mid-May, which will enable the district to move its administration offices to the second floor of the center next month.

June 16 was the last Board of Directors meeting held at the Oxford office.

This week, the university and college moved some equipment from the second floor to the first floor, and the school district is installing an alarm system and touching up paint where necessary on the second floor, Colpitts said.

Colpitts said that once the old office closes on June 30, the public will not be able to access either the Oxford or Paris offices for about two weeks. Administrators will monitor the new email account during the shutdown in case of emergency. 

The move by the SAD 17 Board of Directors to support an amendment to its 20-year lease with the University College Center will allow the district to reduce its budget by at least $40,000 by moving the administration offices. The Paris building is owned by the school district and has been leased to the University Community College Center for $1.

The school district’s lease with Oxford Plaza owner Bob Bahre expired last year, but district officials received a letter from Bahre, extending the lease by five years, Colpitts said. Under the new agreement, SAD 17 will share the operational costs of the Paris facility.

The move will save the college center about $125,000 each year and also provides it with expanded educational opportunities to use some of the adjacent Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School classrooms that didn’t exist before.

The SAD 17 school district kept the former Oxford fairgrounds exposition building when it purchased the land through eminent domain in the 1960s.

In the spring of 2004, the restored building opened for classes as the Western Maine University and Community College Center. It housed the University of Maine, Central Maine Community College and the Career Center. Classes for the new courses began to be offered the previous fall at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. The Career Center  since relocated.

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