Monroe School District to leave 103-year-old headquarters

School Board directors recommended a lease for administrative offices that’ll cost $57,000 a month.

MONROE — Monroe School District administrators are on the move.

School board directors voted 4-0 last week to recommend shifting district headquarters to a 31,000-square-foot office building on 179th Avenue SE, leaving its current 103-year-old schoolhouse behind.

As of Thursday, the lease had yet to be signed, according to a district spokesperson.

The 20-year agreement, first considered in September, will cost the district about $57,000 a month for the first three years.

During the first seven years of the deal, the board can opt to buy the land for $11 million. From years seven to 10, the price is $10.5 million.

The district’s current headquarters, an old schoolhouse, is in need of costly repairs, officials have said.

The Howard S. Wright Company, which also built the Space Needle and monorail, constructed the schoolhouse in 1916.

The building was known as the Central Grade School. It housed 12 classrooms with eight grades of students. Back then, boys and girls in the seventh and eighth grades were separated.

District administrators moved into the building some 40 years ago. Now, they’ll likely sell it.

Tammi Kinney from the Monroe Historical Society told The Daily Herald in October she hopes the new owner would develop the building into apartments, an events center, farmers market or retail complex like the Interlake Public School in Wallingford.

Frank Wagner Elementary is the only other school building on the town’s historic registry.

At the new offices, there’s more space than administrators need. District leaders could move some school programs into the excess space or sublease portions.

Per the agreement with Lake Stevens-based Natural 9 Holdings, looking for other tenants would require a public bidding process among potential applicants. But Everett Community College is the only organization that could move in without prior approval from Natural 9 Holdings.

The district declined to comment on the building until the lease is signed.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; jthompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

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