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A long-empty building on the east end of downtown Appleton has been acquired by Lawrence University.

The college recently closed on the former North Shore Bank building, 320 E. College Ave. The 10,800-square-foot, two-story office building with 56 parking spaces behind it has been vacant for nearly three years. The purchase price was $284,000.

Given the building’s proximity to Lawrence’s main campus, administrators felt the building provided a good opportunity to add space, although specific uses for the building are still being discussed.

“Lawrence is committed to helping maintain a vibrant downtown in Appleton. We’re excited about this property and its possibilities,” said Jake Woodford, assistant to President Mark Burstein. “We are still in the process of exploring the best ways to use the building long-term, but in the immediate term, we look forward to making use of the additional parking space it provides the campus.”

The building sits directly across the street from a second property Lawrence owns in the downtown business district. That building, located at 313 and 319 E. College Ave. between Taste of Thai restaurant and Serenity Candles, has been used as administrative or faculty offices since the early 1990s.