As renovation of Douglas building looms, state seeks temporary office space

An $18 million renovation project at the Douglas Island Building is expected get underway in May. The project will displace about 200 state employees for about 15 months. Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO.

An $18 million renovation project at the Douglas Island Building is expected get underway in May. The project will displace about 200 state employees for about 15 months. Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO.

The State of Alaska is looking for temporary office space for about 200 employees in Juneau, who will need to move during an extensive remodel of the Douglas Island Building.

The move will affect employees from the departments of Fish and Game and Corrections. Tom Mayer, Director of the state Division of General Services, says the renovation project will start around the 1st of May.

“The goal really is to find one building where we don’t have to have two agencies with multiple divisions that are inside their building right now all split all over town for a long period of time,” Mayer said. “It’s basically a 15 month project roughly.”

The state this week issued a request for information to see what office space is available in the Capital City. Mayer says the facility should be at least 20,000 square feet, with a minimum of 56 parking spaces. After gauging the availability of space, he says the state will likely solicit bids for a short term lease.

The Douglas Island Building renovation is a complete overhaul with an $18 million budget, which has already been appropriated.

“The building originally was built in 1961. So it’s obviously very old, really hasn’t been remodeled much in the past,” said Mayer. “The project is going to include new curtain walls, HVAC systems, plumbing, electrical, windows, drainage, roof, carpeting, paint. It’s basically going to be a new building when it’s done. I’m not in the contracting world or construction industry, but I would call it a gut and remodel, yeah.”

Mayer says the renovation will create space for additional employees, but he couldn’t say how many or from what departments.

In 2010, Juneau’s legislative delegation secured $2 million for planning and design of a new State Office Building to house about 500 employees. A year later, the Parnell administration shifted course and decided to renovate the existing building in Douglas instead.