WALLINGFORD — The Town Council unanimously approved Tuesday a lease renewal for the Wallingford Public Schools central office building.
The Board of Education approved the five-year lease at 100 S. Turnpike Road last month. It goes into effect May 1, 2021, and expires April 30, 2026.
The central office, often referred to as the Board of Education office, houses 40 staff members, including the superintendent, assistant superintendents, curriculum staff, business manager, pupil personnel services director, food service director and clerical staff. There’s also a conference room where BOE meetings are held.
Currently, the monthly rent is $12,413.06, or $148,956.72 annually.
Under the terms of the new lease, the monthly rent would increase by 2 percent in May 2022 to $12,661.32 per month, or $151,935.84 annually, and again by 2 percent in May 2024 to $12,914.54 per month, or $154,974.48 annually.
The central office used to be located inside Sheehan High School, but moved to the Hall-Elton Building, 43 Hall Ave., in 2013 after a safety audit determined it was in the best interest of students in the alternative high school program, then housed at the Hall-Elton Building, to switch spaces with the central office.
In early 2016, a burst water pipe at the Hall-Elton Building forced the district to relocate the central office to Lyman Hall High School and then to South Turnpike Road.
Superintendent Salvatore Menzo said during the meeting that he wants to move the central office, which would take 12 to 15 classrooms worth of space, back to a town-owned property at some point, once the discussion can return to the building and facilities study.
Menzo also said if the central office staff were to be split among two or more school buildings, he would have to bring back two or three staff members. Those salaries and benefits would wipe out any potential rent savings.