The State Capitol Repair Expenditure Oversight Committee on Thursday received a proposed interior construction schedule that could cause work to begin sooner than expected while reducing tenant relocation expenses by millions of dollars.


Manhattan Construction and Frankfurt Short Bruza Architects & Engineers, the construction and design firms working with the state to restore the interior of the Capitol, delivered a report to the committee on the interior project’s proposed scope of work, phasing and timelines.


In the report, the firms propose using a “single move strategy” wherever possible that would see many Capitol tenants move only once, from their current office space to newly restored office space elsewhere in the building. For many tenants, this approach would eliminate the need to make multiple moves to and from temporary office space in and out of the Capitol building before returning to their current space.


The cost of securing temporary tenant office space, often referred to as “swing space,” was initially projected at $7.7 million. Using a single move strategy would significantly reduce or eliminate that cost and allow more funds to be spent on other components of the project.


“The approach we’re suggesting represents a much more efficient use of taxpayer resources and the least disruption to the functions of the building,” said Kyle Nelson, project director for Manhattan Construction.


As part of the proposed single move strategy, construction would begin this summer to prepare first and third floor office space for tenants currently housed in the west wing of the Capitol basement. Several aging, inadequate building mechanical systems that will be replaced during the restoration are housed in the west wing of the basement.


“Relocating west basement tenants is a prerequisite to beginning the major mechanical infrastructure work necessary in those areas. The area has some of the building’s most substandard office space and needs to be as empty as possible when work begins,” Nelson said.


Interior construction had previously been expected to begin in early 2016. The committee approved the report and sent it the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, which is managing the project with the committee and the state’s selected contractors. “Manhattan and FSB have presented an aggressive strategy that minimizes disruption and maximizes the project’s limited resources. Having received direction from the committee, we will initiate this approach immediately,” said OMES State Capitol Project Manager Trait Thompson.


The committee on Thursday also received information about ongoing assessments of the building’s historic components and mechanical systems. As part of the conditions assessment, Frankfurt Short Bruza Architects & Engineers has built the first-ever complete three-dimensional building information model of the Capitol. The technology is being used to create a comprehensive, interactive database of Capitol office space and mechanical systems that will be used to develop plans for the construction phase of the project.


“3D building information models are demystifying the complexities of the building’s many mechanical systems like never before and will further assist efforts to redesign those systems to meet future needs,” said Fred Schmidt, principal in charge for Frankfurt Short Bruza Architects & Engineers.


In addition to project planning for interior restoration, trial repairs for the exterior restoration, which is being managed through a separate process, are also underway.

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