The Olympia School Board voted 3-0 Monday night to allow district officials to move forward with the $4.8 million purchase of the nearly 53,000-square-foot building occupied by The Olympian.
Board members Mark Campeau and Justin Montermini were absent from the meeting.
The district has been negotiating to purchase the building at 111 Bethel St. NE for a year and a half. Officials estimate it will cost about $2 million to remodel the building into the district’s future headquarters and staff development center. The district’s last feasibility period is scheduled to expire Oct. 2 and, after that, the district has 30 days to close the sale, according to assistant superintendent Jennifer Priddy.
The Olympian has been headquartered on Bethel since 1972. Because production of the newspaper has been moved to Tacoma, the building is too large for the newspaper’s current staff. The Olympian is making plans to relocate to a smaller building in downtown Olympia, said Executive Editor Dusti Demarest. As part of the terms of the sale, The Olympian’s staff could lease space in the building for as long as a year, Priddy said.