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Arts and Humanities Focus Program

Students in the Arts and Humanities Focus Program take a break outside in 2016.

About 30 Lincoln Public Schools special-education teachers — especially those who work at more than one school — will get a new home in the building where Arts and Humanities Focus Program students spend their days.

The Lincoln Board of Education on Tuesday approved a seven-year lease agreement for nearly 5,900 square feet of space in the Bottler’s Building at 643 S. 25th St. The district will pay $3,605 a month — or $43,260 a year — for rent, utilities and common area maintenance charges.

The Arts and Humanities Focus Program has been in that building since it opened and LPS has leased more space there as it’s become available.

It rents space for storage and for itinerant occupational and physical therapists who work for the district. With the latest agreement, the total amount of space the district now leases in the building totals 14,420 square feet.

The new space will be used for special-education teachers now housed in what used to be Hawthorne Elementary School at 300 S. 48th St., said LPS Operations Director Scott Wieskamp.

Part of the old elementary school is now home to Bryan Community, an alternative high school. The other half is used for the district’s early childhood education department and employees and special-education assessment.

Wieskamp said early childhood education continues to grow and the space was getting crowded, so a portion of the itinerant special-education staff will now be in the Bottler’s Building.

The school board also extended the lease for the Arts and Humanities space for five years for a total of $297,750.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7226 or mreist@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSreist.

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Education reporter

Margaret Reist is a Lincoln native, the mom of three high school graduates now navigating college and an education junkie who covers students, teachers and policymakers inside and outside the K-12 classroom.

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