The Arlington school district’s recent use of $6.9 million from its fund balance to buy the Enterprise Centre near Interstate 30 and Lamar Boulevard makes good financial sense for the district, administrators said last week.
The district has leased about a third of the five-story, 92,050-square-foot office building at 690 E. Lamar Blvd. for about a year and a half, said Cindy Powell, the district’s chief financial officer. Last fall, the owners of the building informed the district that they planned to put it on the market.
“We have a very large fund balance, so we saw this as an opportunity, a very good investment for us for long term space needs for various, mostly curriculum, offices,” Powell said.
Staffers who set and implement district curriculum have been scattered in several locations, including some schools. The newly acquired property will eventually allow them to work together, Powell said.
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“This gives us a good opportunity to have space available to us to grow as we need to,” she said.
The district’s fund balance, after revenue and expenditures, is projected to be more than $185.7 million at the close of fiscal year 2015, which ends this month, Powell said.
The Tarrant Appraisal District lists a taxable value of $5.8 million for the Enterprise Centre. Before the purchase, the school district commissioned an independent appraisal that placed the market value at $7.1 million, Powell said.
The Enterprise Centre has seven tenants and the district has agreed to honor their lease agreements.
School board President Bowie Hogg said the purchase, approved by trustees in January, will save the district money in the long run. The board approved the purchase in January.
The acquisition “enables us to have more employees together in one facility with a better cost analysis by owning instead of leasing multiple facilities,” Hogg said in an email.