The inside of the new vault for the State Libraries Archives and Museum, or SLAM project in downtown Juneau, is beginning to take shape.
The first floor of the vault will be used to store artifacts from the current Alaska State Museum. Storage space for the Archives, Historical, and Library Collections will be on the second floor.
Inside, work is underway on the building’s mechanics while ceilings and the metal framework for walls and ceilings remain exposed. Visitors on Friday could look into, but not enter a giant first floor storage space for artifacts because work was underway on the floor’s epoxy coating.
Trever Gallagher, project manager for construction firm PCL, said some of the project challenges include building in phases, building on tidal fill, scheduling shipments of materials to Juneau, and the local labor pool.
It’s a challenge for some of our trades to get people. There actually has been quite a few laborers in town. Carpenters, in particular. We’ve done a lot of local hiring. We’re using a lot of subtrades from either Juneau or Anchorage. So, there is access to workers in the state. But there’s a few trades where it’s harder to get labor up here.”
Bob Banghart of the Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums said the new vault features a loading dock that opens into processing rooms, a nearby freight elevator, and the collections storage area.
What’s nice is we got a double door roll-up, a double door roll-up, and a double door roll-up. And so we can roll straight into collections which, right now, that’s impossible. So, we can bring like the 36-foot umiak right in onto its rack. It’s fun to be able to rectify every error that you’ve made in other institutions, right?”
Once the vault is finished in May, then Banghart said they’ll have less than six weeks to move all of the museum artifacts inside. The current Alaska State Museum will then be demolished and work will continue on building the rest of SLAM.
Tours of the new facility started last week for state lawmakers and their staff, city officials, and interested local media.