The U.S. Postal Service is vacating this building at 2601 S. Oliver, but whether the state Department for Children and Families moves in isn’t as certain as it once was.WICHITA — In February, a state official told Have You Heard? that the Department for Children and Families was "at the goal line" for signing a deal for space that the U.S. Postal Service is vacating at 2601 S. Oliver.
Apparently, though, someone has moved the goal line. The players in the lineup may have changed, too.
"We're still exploring all of our options and haven't made a final determination on that yet," says Theresa Freed, a DCF spokeswoman. "That is one of the options that we're considering."
That sounds a lot less certain than when Mark McGivern, director of the Office of Facilities and Procurement Management within the state Department of Administration, used the goal line analogy.
Does that mean the postal deal is less likely than it had been?
"I wouldn't say that it is any more or less likely," Freed says. "As a department, we don't discuss contracts until they are finalized."
In June, Have You Heard? reported that nine state agencies, including more than 700 employees, will leave the Finney building when the state's lease expires on Sept. 30. More than 550 of those employees are with DCF.
The city presented the state with what a state spokesman called "a very aggressive lease renewal offer" last summer, but the spokesman said DCF has needs the Finney building can't fulfill.
State Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, has voiced concerns from the beginning regarding DCF and other agencies vacating the Finney building. He wonders what the holdup is now.
"That's another concern in an ongoing series of concerns about how ... good of a decision the move is in total," he says.