The Cedar Rapids school district broke ground Monday on a multi-million dollar district services center to replace the site that was flooded in 2008. Superintendent Dave Benson says district employees have been located throughout the city in temporary locations and the new building will bring them back together.

“Not having good contact with people is difficult so I see improved communication, improved employee morale, and improved services to the students and to the community,” Benson says. The center will cost as much as 40-million dollars — depending on the bid process — and will include all administration, transportation, and warehouse and purchasing workers.

“Being under the same roof, being able to go from maintenance and operations to transportation to warehouse, to administrative center, and to have a professional learning center, these are all improvements and will help,” Benson says. A portion of the cost of the new center will come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The new center is expected to open in 2012.