What appeared to be a dead deal to acquire permanent office space for some school district services resurfaced in a different form Monday night.

What appeared to be a dead deal to acquire permanent office space for some school district services resurfaced in a different form Monday night.

The Westerville Board of Education voted to enter into a lease agreement with 936 Eastwind LLC, a subsidiary of Triad Architects, for nearly 9,500 square feet of space in a building Triad recently bought at 936 Eastwind Drive.

The agreement includes an option-to-purchase clause for the entire 55,228-square-foot building and 8.9 acres that the district can exercise between Jan. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2013.

The district will pay $79,256 annually for the leased space, the same amount it is currently paying for 7,196 square feet in a building at 975 Eastwind Drive. The lease on that building has expired and the district is a "day-to-day" tenant, district spokesman Greg Viebranz said.

The Westerville district will use the new space to house several academic offices, he said.

Earlier this year, the district announced plans to purchase the property for $2.95-million and use it for offices and to consolidate a state-mandated special education pre-school program. But the sluggish economy forced officials to abandon those plans.

In stepped Triad Architects, a firm that has worked with the district fir several years on facility design projects, including those for 936 Eastwind Drive.

The timing was right, said Dave Price, Triad's principal owner.

The company's lease was expiring in Gahanna, he said, and the acquisition of the building and land in Westerville appeared to be "an incredible deal." The property is appraised at $3.8-million.

"We are doing new builds for $110-112 a square foot," Price said, noting that the Eastwind Drive building comes at $53 a square foot.

More importantly, he said, the deal provided a way for the school district to get much-needed space at a reasonable price.

"They are great clients of ours and have been for some time. Anything we can do to help them we wanted to do," he said.

Triad formed the limited liability corporation to complete the deal.

Triad will move into the building, Price said, and the existing tenant, Affiliated Computer Services, will remain.

There will be a small amount of space available for lease.

Board President Kevin Hoffman called the agreement "a phenomenal example of a public/private partnership."

If the district chooses not to exercise its option to purchase by the end of 2013, that part of the agreement goes away.

If it does decide to buy it, the district would pay $2.95-million plus an annual inflationary rate of 2.5 percent up to the date of purchase.