State seeks money for new office building

A new $33 million, six-story building in Carson City was among $241 million in improvements recommended Monday by the state Public Works Board.

Director of Administration Perry Comeaux said the new state building is in line with Gov. Kenny Guinn's desire to reduce leased office space and to consolidate departments.

The building will contain a total of 180,000 square feet on six floors at Roop and Second streets near the Nevada Department of Transportation building. When finished, it will provide office space for the Department of Administration, which includes the Budget Office, Administrative Services, Personnel, Purchasing, Public Works, Printing, Motor Pool, Risk Management, Hearings Division and Internal Audits.

In addition, interim Public Works Board Manager Ward Patrick said the Department of Information Technology will be moved into the new structure.

Work should begin in spring 2003.

Along with the new building, the budget includes $3.3 million to remodel and renovate the Capitol, the Blasdel Building behind it and $1 million to renovate the Capitol Annex.

In addition, the recommended capital improvements program includes money to finish projects at Western Nevada Community College, rehabilitate two old buildings at Stewart Indian School and $700,000 to finish remodeling the former Carson City Courthouse into office space for the Attorney General's Office.

The biggest project on the list is $53 million for the third phase of High Desert State Prison in Southern Nevada, which is in the process of opening. Public Works, however, is looking into a new, partially prefabricated method of building the prison that could, along with increased use of inmate labor, reduce costs to $42 million.

Comeaux said Public Works is still investigating the alternative but that, if it proves a viable one, the governor can change the project list to free the money for something else.

"We certainly don't want to put $11 million into a prison that we don't have to," he said.

The University System, which laid out more than $300 million in construction needs for the coming years, was recommended for only five projects and one of those is planning for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Science and Engineering building. That project will get $9 million if the governor and Legislature approve the recommendations. The total cost of the building is more than $75 million.

The total system funding recommended in the plan is $81.8 million and includes a Community College of Southern Nevada Health Science building, Truckee Meadows Community College student services building, Wright Hall at UNLV and WNCC's Fallon classroom expansion.

But the board did vote to put about $6 million into advance planning for projects including the $66 million University of Nevada, Reno library and a $27 million classroom for the proposed Nevada State College in Henderson.

The recommendation will be forwarded to the governor who will use it to develop his proposal for the 2001 Legislature.


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