Kinkead move won’t be until November | NevadaAppeal.com

Kinkead move won’t be until November

For state workers in the Kinkead Building, it’s a story they’ve heard too many times now: yet another delay before they move out.

Deputy Health and Human Services Director Mike Torvinen says the latest delay is being caused by problems getting phone and computer data lines installed in the new buildings on Technology Way near the Carson City Airport.

“They informed me on the fifth of September they needed 39 days to rough in cabling and 37 days to do connections,” he said. “That was the first I’d heard of that.”

After several earlier delays in remodeling the building, Torvinen said Director Mike Willden had planned to make the final move out of Kinkead by the end of this month. Now, he said, the state’s contractor, Conway Communications, won’t be able to finish until the week of Nov. 20 – almost exactly a year after the move was funded by the Interim Finance Committee.

The good news, he said, is that the contractor, John Serpa, is on schedule for the remodeling and everything else.

“The furniture installation is going to go on as planned, and the leasehold improvements will be done,” he said, adding that Serpa and his subcontractors have done an excellent job on their part of the project. “But we’ll be delayed in moving because of the cabling.”

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He said he plans to sit down with the Department of Information Technology, to which Conway reports, and see what can be done to speed things up.

Torvinen said the other agencies in Kinkead – which has been described as the worst state building ever built – have left the building, including DOIT. But the Human Services director’s office, Health Division, Mental Health Developmental Services and Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Abuse remain – with nearly 350 state workers.

Once they move out, the building will be closed until it is demolished. The $1.5 million to bring Kinkead down is in the governor’s proposed capital construction budget.

Willden has suggested – only half in jest – that the state sell raffle tickets to state workers who are or were in Kinkead for the chance to push the explosives plunger and destroy the building.

The Division of Child and Family Services’ move from the old Children’s Home cottages at Stewart and Fifth streets is also on hold until the Harley-Davidson buildings on Technology Way are ready. The 70-year-old cottages will also be demolished.

Torvinen said the one piece of good news he has for the state is that the total cost of the move to the former Harley-Davidson buildings will be lower than expected. It was budgeted at about $1 million, and Torvinen said they have anticipated an additional $330,000 would be necessary for costs including rent during final three months of fiscal 2007. That supplemental request, he said, will only be about $180,000.

Kinkead was built in the 1970s a block east of the Capitol and began to have structural problems almost immediately. The windows leaked both wind and rain, and the floors began to settle. The windows have been fixed, but the concrete floors are as much as 6 inches higher on one wall of some offices than on the opposite wall. Chunks of the concrete structure have broken loose in some places and fallen through the suspended ceiling.

Safety inspectors say there are more than 100 things which need to be fixed to fully meet code requirements.

An engineering report done two years ago warned the building could collapse in a major earthquake.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.

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