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Balto. Co. schools are consolidating offices

Kevin Kamenetz

The Baltimore County school system will begin moving some of its employees into vacant county government space in downtown Towson, a move that officials say will save $1.5 million annually.

The system will move into the Jefferson building across from the county courthouse on Chesapeake Avenue, officials said.

Employees in the curriculum and instruction offices, now divided among four different buildings on the Greenwood campus on Charles Street in Towson and Pulaski Park in Middle River, will move to the new location.

The Jefferson building has space because the county has reduced its workforce by 500 employees in the past two years, according to Don Mohler, the chief of staff for County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. The building was purchased about five years ago and has been completely renovated, he said.

The school system hasn't yet calculated the cost of moving employees from one building to another, spokesman Charles Herndon said. But he said the savings the system will realize from the move will be greater than its cost.

Furniture will be moved by school system employees and not by moving companies, he said.

The space the employees leave on the Greenwood campus is to be filled with employees who now work in an office park in Timonium. The school system leases space in Timonium and in Pulaski Park.

The county plans to move several of its departments, including economic development and parks and recreation, in order to accommodate the school system. The moves are to be completed in a year.

Mohler said the moves will have the added benefit of bringing more employees to downtown Towson to shop and eat in local restaurants.

"It is creating an economic engine in Towson," Mohler said.

The county has the fewest employees it has had in 25 years, according to county officials.

liz.bowie@baltsun.com

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