Guilford County Schools has made plans to sell five of its office buildings and purchase one new one to house district staff.

Officials say the consolidation will make operations more efficient, and increase employee collaboration. 

The GCS Facilities Master Plan from 2019 included closing several administrative buildings in order to consolidate and rebuild new ones. 

Initially, $30 million in bond funds were allocated to pay for that process. But at a school board meeting on Tuesday, the district’s Deputy Superintendent of Business and Operations Julius Monk announced a new, less expensive plan.

“GCS has been presented with an opportunity to purchase a building in our community without resorting to the use of bond funds," Monk said. "And it's below the amount that we were anticipating as a part of our Facilities Master Plan.”

He said county commissioners have agreed to provide $9.5 million for the district to purchase the former ITG Brands building located in midtown Greensboro. The site is more than seven acres, can accommodate over 400 employees, and is almost move-in ready. 

The district will pay the commissioners back with the money made from selling five of its current administrative buildings, which are old, and lacking in technology. 

"By selling the district's real estate on Eugene Street, Washington Street, Market Street, Prescott Street and Laughlin and Summerfield, the district will be returning those properties to the county's tax base, which could be used for various projects including commercial and real estate developments," Monk said. 

Officials say purchasing the new property is more cost-effective than buying land and building a new facility. 

The school board unanimously voted to authorize district staff to move forward with the purchase. Once the sale is complete, central office employees could move into the new building as soon as this fall. 

Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.

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