Conservation prepares for dedication of new building |

Conservation prepares for dedication of new building

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Jason Hyatt of Peri Landscape Construction and Materials works on the landscaping in front of the state's new Department of Conservation and Natural Resources building at Stewart and Little streets Tuesday afternoon.

Tile on the ground floor is still covered with sheeting to protect it as movers haul in furniture and crews outside are using backhoes to plant trees, but the majority of Nevada’s Conservation and Natural Resources employees have already moved into their new building on South Stewart Street.

Most of the chaos is supposed to be cleaned up by Thursday when Gov. Kenny Guinn and other dignitaries will dedicate the building in honor of former U.S. Senator, Nevada governor and attorney general Richard H. Bryan.

Department representative Cindy Peterson said agencies including Environmental Protection and Water Resources began moving the last week of June. But, she said, finishing work is still in progress on the first and fifth floors and the final divisions, including CNR Director Alan Biaggi , won’t move in until August.

The dedication ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Bryan and his family – including grandchildren – will be on hand for tours.

It is five stories tall with 130,000 square feet of laboratory and office space. The building will unify the different divisions of Conservation and Natural Resources, which is now located in seven different buildings in Carson City.

The building is also the first to be constructed under a lease-purchase agreement, which will let the state make payments on the building in much the same way people buy a house and make mortgage payments. The building cost more than $20 million to construct.

That is a departure from traditional state construction financing which involves either paying for construction with cash or bonding for construction.

Peterson said the building will eventually provide space for more than 425 employees. The majority of them are already in the building – 239 environmental protection staffers and nearly 100 more in water resources.

Peterson said after everyone moves in, there will be some extra space on the first floor. The Public Employees Benefits Program and the divisions of Financial Institutions and Manufactured Housing from Business and Industry will move in there.

She said the “high density” filing systems to maintain and protect water rights records, maps and other legally important documents haven’t yet been installed because they were only approved in the final days of the Legislature.

Peterson said not all resources employees will move into the building. The largest division outside will remain Forestry, which, she said, has employees across the state. Forestry will locate its Carson City administrative staff in the south of town next to the planned Emergency Operations Center which will unite emergency and Homeland Security agencies.

Plans call for a matching building behind the new structure facing Roop Street. That building will eventually be home to the state’s Human Resources Department. It was on the governor’s recommended capital projects list for the 2005 Legislature but was cut by lawmakers in favor of major university system projects.

– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@ or 687-8750.

If you go

What: Dedication of the Richard H. Bryan Conservation and Natural Resources Building

Where: 901 S. Stewart St.

When: 10 a.m. Thursday

Who: Open to the public