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Somerville to renovate surplus property for school offices

Posted by Alix Roy  June 1, 2010 10:04 AM

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The City of Somerville is hoping to renovate one of its existing properties for use by the district's central administrative offices, which are currently renting space from a private organization.

The Board of Alderman still needs to approve an appropriation of $336,000 for the renovation of 42 Cross Street, which was last occupied by the Cambridge Health Alliance.

The funds would be used for the design, renovation, and equipping of the building, which last housed a medical clinic, Capital Projects director Gerry Boyle said on Friday. Some plumbing work needs to be done and other small projects to bring the building up to code, he said.

The city currently pays $197,000 per year to lease space on Washington Street for its administrative offices, in a building owned by the Boys and Girls Club. When the Cross Street building became vacant last July following consolidation efforts by Cambridge Health Alliance, the city conducted a  study to figure out how best to use the space, Boyle said. The potential savings in moving the school offices quickly became apparent, he added.

“This little project should pay for itself in a few years,” he said.

Once funds are approved, Boyle said he hopes to see renovations completed in two months, readying the building for  occupancy in mid-September. Nineteen employees will be moved to the 4,700-square foot building.
 
The city continues to lease space from Tufts University for its Council on Aging office and various other programs at the TAB building on Holland Street, Boyle said, adding that the city's office of Strategic Planning and Community Development is engaged in a long-term study concerning how best to utilize “surplus” city properties.

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