By: Cole Miller
As Lincoln Public Schools students begin counting down the days to summer vacation, school officials have their eyes on the calendar, too.
In just a little more than two months, employees will have a brand new district office to call home after a fire on May 30, 2011 destroyed the old one.
"The fact that we had a tragedy which turned into an opportunity, we probably never would've built a new district office building if it wouldn't have been for the fire," LPS Director of Operations Scott Wieskamp said.
And from a pile of rubble, this three story, state-of-the-art structure now stands.
"It's got a lot of natural light, some new green technologies," Wieskamp said.
"I think it'll just be more efficient technology-wise so it's just a new facility compared to a building that was 40 to 50 years old."
Wieskamp says beginning in July, the first wave of nearly 250 employees will begin moving in and over time, he says that number could increase.
"There is some room for growth. I think we could add 10 to 15% based on space available within the building."
As for building costs, Wieskamp says both insurance proceeds and the sale of two additional property sites at the 59th and "O" street location cover the bills.
"No tax dollars have been involved to rebuild the facility and so we're very proud of that formula as well," Wieskamp said.
He says with the help of the school board and community, LPStudents and employees have a bright future.
When it comes to moving in, Wieskamp says they'll start on the third floor and work their way down. And you may have noticed that a Whole Foods supermarket is opening up here also along with some other retail space.