State offices show their age

By BETH CRACE State Journal Staff Writer Published:

In the next few months, employees of the state Transportation Cabinet will file into a brand new 420,000-square-foot building in downtown Frankfort.

But for the 1,400 or so Transportation employees who'll enjoy the new state-of-the-art facility, there are thousands of others who will continue to work in aging state office buildings in need of repairs.

Acting Commissioner of Facilities Management Jamie Link said the state has a 10-year plan for upgrades and renovations on some of the state's oldest office buildings. But seeing those plans through will take funding from an already strapped-for-cash state.

The current Transportation building - also known as "the State Office Building" - the Capital Plaza tower and the CHR complex are top priorities in Facilities Management's 10-year plan. Renovation on the State Office Building alone is estimated at $42 to $45 million, Link said.

"It's a monumental challenge," said Link. "I think it will be very difficult. Hopefully, the economy will pick up. That will take a little while. It's not going to be an overnight fix."

Link said the Finance and Administration Cabinet will seek funding for the State Office Building renovation and design for the Capital Plaza tower during the next legislative session, which will convene in January.

Lisa Gross, spokeswoman for the Department of Education in the Capital Plaza tower, hopes the upgrades can be carried out.

"This building, for a state government building, is pretty old," Gross said of the tower, which was constructed in the late 1960s and holds 1,100 employees. "It's starting to show signs of wear and tear."

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.