It wasn’t until the witching hour (literally) that the DISD board of trustees cast their vote regarding the $46.5 million purchase of the building at 9400 North Central Expressway for its new headquarters.
DISD headquarters are currently located at 3700 Ross Avenue, with additional administration buildings scattered throughout the district
After discussions of location, how much the district would save, and whether the money would be better spent going to the schools, the trustees voted 5-3 in favor of the proposal.
The move is expected to save $3.8 million by 2018, and $27.7 million by 2021.
“We’re actually cutting administrative costs so we can put the money back into the schools,” District 3 Trustee Dan Micciche, who voted yes, said.
Some concerns included that the relocation would be too north, making it difficult for residents of southern Dallas to access it. The building is around six miles from DISD’s current headquarters.
Another concern involved the expected savings and whether that money would actually go back to the school. District 6 Trustee Joyce Foreman, who voted no, argued that while quality facilities for employees would be nice, the students are the priority.
“Who are our customers?” she asked, referring to the students. “We can’t spend additional money on our kids, but we want to spend almost $50 million for a building for high-paid administrators.”
This proposal from DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa is part of a consolidation goal to provide a one-stop shop for parents, community members, and prospective and current employees. The hope is to improve customer service, increase organizational efficiencies, reduce facilities operating costs, and enhance the district’s presence in the Dallas community.
The 16-story office building, near NorthPark Center, will include a welcome center, student records, volunteer and partnerships office, parent services offices, and resource and working space for teachers and instructional staff.