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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

No. 11-09

Department of Administration finds renovation of
Douglas Island Office Building cost-effective

Oct. 14, 2011, Juneau, Alaska -- Following a review of state office space in Juneau, the Department of Administration has found that renovation of the Douglas Island Office Building is cost-effective. The department will proceed with a phased approach to addressing deferred maintenance and other state office space needs in Juneau to include renovation of the Douglas Island Building as the first priority. Further review and analysis is needed before work can proceed on planning and design of a new state office building in Juneau.

"After doing further analysis on office space in Juneau, made possible by a $2 million appropriation in fiscal year 2011, my staff and I have learned that the Douglas Island Office Building can be renovated. In addition, we believe that other immediate space needs can be accommodated at this time in a more cost-effective way than by construction of a new building," said Commissioner Becky Hultberg. "This does not preclude future construction of a new building. However, for now our priorities have shifted to addressing the Douglas Island Office Building, planning for addressing other deferred maintenance and looking at overall space utilization for state facilities in Juneau."

In 2010, $2 million was appropriated to the Department of Administration for the planning and design of a new state office building in Juneau. The appropriation was prompted because of the aging and deterioration of existing state office space in Juneau. Tenants for the proposed new building would have included employees from the Douglas Island Office Building, Department of Labor Building and Public Safety Building.

The Departments of Transportation and Public Facilities and Administration conducted a review process that involved consideration of multiple sites for the proposed new project, a survey of employee residence, consideration of public opinion and evaluation of existing office space.

The Douglas Island Office Building has substantial deferred maintenance needs that must be addressed promptly. Recent analysis suggests that issues with this building can be corrected in a cost-effective manner by replacement of the building envelope. Most of this work can be completed while the building is occupied.

The Public Safety Building, however, is well past the end of its useful life. The Department of Administration will be developing a comprehensive plan for Juneau office space to include relocating those employees to other space in the Juneau area.

In addition, no analysis of whether the usage of existing state office space has been maximized has been conducted since 2002. The Department of Administration has begun this analysis and will incorporate the findings into the overall plan for Juneau office space. Following completion of this analysis and the implementation of any space savings, construction of additional office space in Juneau will be considered.

"I am committed to ensuring that state employees have safe and appropriate office space in which to work," Hultberg added. "I am equally committed to ensuring that all public funds for such projects are spent wisely. At this point, we can accomplish both objectives by taking care of the buildings we have and ensuring efficient use of existing space before contemplating new construction."

Please contact the Department of Administration at (907) 465-2200 or doa.co@alaska.gov with any additional questions.

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