AEA 267 buys Pipac Center in cost-saving move

The Area Education Agency 267 (AEA 267) Board of Directors has approved the purchase of the Pipac Center from its owner at a price far below its estimated worth. The agency plans to use the facility for professional trainings for area educators as well as to consolidate its Cedar Falls-based staff and operations into one building. The board plans to sell its three buildings on Cedar Heights Drive and will use the proceeds to offset the $4 million purchase price and renovations of the Pipac Center.

“This is a win-win situation for everyone,” said Sam Miller, AEA 267 Chief Administrator. “We have long needed a space that would get all of our Cedar Falls-based employees under one roof as well as provide large-scale conference space for the thousands of teachers, parents and community members that we invite in every year for trainings and meetings. It makes economic sense for us at the price we have agreed on and it would fill this quality-built facility in the Cedar Valley with children, families and educators. This purchase is squarely rooted in our effort to ensure that we have the best programs and services available to meet the needs of those we serve.”

AEA 267 recently contracted with Struxture Architects to complete an independent facility study, which estimated a cost of approximately $3.1 million to renovate its Cedar Falls locations. The ongoing maintenance costs of housing staff in three separate buildings has taxed the agency’s budget and made it difficult to fully integrate programs and services. The purchase will enable AEA 267 to move from three separate Cedar Falls facilities to one facility ensuring that fewer resources go toward renovation, and capturing ongoing savings in maintenance and operation.

“This facility meets their needs and saves them money in the long run,” said Dr. Jane Lindaman, superintendent of Waterloo Community Schools. “The AEA helps so many children and educators in the Cedar Valley. It will be nice to see the Pipac used for this purpose.”

“As an agency devoted to professional learning and service to the Cedar Valley and our surrounding schools and communities, this location will serve to greatly enhance our services,” said Dr. Debra Rich, AEA 267 board president. “From a fiscal perspective, reducing our maintenance and overhead costs is also critically important. This allows us to do just that.”

The AEA 267 board will hold a public hearing on the sale of their existing buildings on Cedar Heights Drive sometime in the spring. The agency hopes to move its operations into Pipac around July 1, 2017.

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