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At DCPS, it's 'purge purge, purge!'

D.C. schools will begin moving its central offices next week, decamping 825 N. Capitol St. NE for 1200 1st St. NE near the New York Ave. Metro station. To save money on rent, the new digs are smaller, and that means about 40 percent less storage space, officials said.

The space crunch has triggered a crash program of document shredding. The school system has hired two firms, Iron Mountain and Shredit, to help scan documents that need to be kept and dispose of others.

"The new location has less storage space so it is imperative to purge, purge, purge!" say the notes from chief operating officer Anthony J. Tata's Dec. 16 "sync meeting" for school business managers and other staff. The purge imperative was voiced in a briefing by James Tanious, a Tata staffer.

Officials told DC Schools Insider to rest assured that nothing will be improperly discarded. "All document reduction actions are in compliance with the Office of the Public Records Administrator guidelines," said Jennifer Calloway, spokeswoman for Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee.

Those guidelines can be found in the DC General Records Retention Schedule.

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By Bill Turque  |  February 17, 2010; 10:26 AM ET
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Gosh, when I first read the headline of purge-purge-purge, I was thinking about RIFs and getting rid of people, not documents. A little paranoid, I guess.

Posted by: chelita | February 17, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

What I can't understand is why, with all the empty school buildings, didn't the Central Offices move to one of the vacant buildings? It would cost up front because of having to renovate the building, but I would think it would have saved far more money in the long run. Furthermore, they could have used a school building that has a large existing parking lot for both the employees who work at Central Office and for other DCPS employees who need to do business at the Central Office. Guess that would have been too much like right, huh?

Posted by: UrbanDweller | February 17, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Am I alone in thinking that it really strange for a government agency to rent space instead of owning property?

Does the Central Office believe that is going to relocate to another city and this is the reason for renting space?

The comment of using property already owned by the school system makes more sense than renting space.

There appears to be a real problem in financial management of the school system.

Posted by: bsallamack | February 18, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

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