The remodel was in full swing at the downtown municipal building Nov. 16, 2016. Photo/Angela Denning

The remodel was in full swing at the downtown municipal building Nov. 16, 2016. Photo/Angela Denning

The municipal building renovation project is coming along as planned. The police department is expected to start moving into the new space in January. KFSK’s Angela Denning reports:
The borough assembly at their last meeting approved purchasing just over $200,000 worth of furniture, fixtures and equipment for the new municipal building and police station.

The borough had budgeted $250,000 for furnishings and has spent just $30,000 of that already.

Borough Manager, Steve Giesbrecht, told the assembly that they are, “still under budget at this point.”

He says the borough chose to go with Alaska based company, Think Office LLC, to purchase and install open work stations as well as office and lobby furniture in the new building.

The borough budgeted $700,000 for contingency or unforeseen expenses and has spent about $160,000 of that so far.

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by January 19. That includes the police department portion of the building.

“At that point in time, we get 30 days in the building to move all of the PD into their new facilities including all of the technology that supports them, that’s 911, radios, the whole thing,” Giesbrecht said. “That’s going to be a really busy, really tight 30 days.”

Giesbrecht says that 30-day transition could be the most challenging aspect of the whole renovation project.

“Moving 911 and stuff like that is just not simple,” Giesbrecht said. “We’ve got to install a brand new system is what it amounts to and then train people on their new work stations and get everybody moved. That’s probably the biggest thing that’s stressing me out on the project at this point. It’s just that…can we get that thing done in 30 days?”

He says after the thirty days, the contractor will start demolishing the existing police department and turning it into a secured entrance area.

The finance office and other borough administration will have more time to move back into the old location. Giesbrecht said they might wait until February or March just to make sure the police department has a smooth transition first.

The renovation project is expected to be completed by July.