Feds say possible new library building not for sale | NevadaAppeal.com

Feds say possible new library building not for sale

Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer

A federal agency has said it will not sell a downtown building Carson City is looking at for its new library.

The city wanted to look at details for the 311 Washington St. building and has since asked government representatives for help. The U.S. Government Services Administration (GSA), which handles real estate for the government, said it wasn’t for sale.

City officials have said the current 22,000-square-foot library is too small and the 86,000-square-foot three-story former post office would serve residents better and help draw them downtown.

The building now holds offices for federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

In an letter dated Oct. 26 to City Manger Linda Ritter, an administration asset manager said, “I must respectfully decline your request that GSA provide you copies of the architectural plans for the Carson City Federal Building. As I explained during our meeting in your office last week, GSA has no interest in disposing of the building.”

Gene Gibson, another administration representative, added in an interview Monday that “there isn’t any idea that it will be made available.”

The building is well-maintained and almost completely full, she said.

“It’s like if I came to you – you and your family are living at your house – and I said, ‘Well, we really want to buy your house.’ Well, it’s not for sale.”

The situation is disappointing, said Carson City Library Director Sara Jones, but city officials are “still hopeful.”

“We’re talking to representatives in Washington, D.C., and helping them see it as a priority for us,” she said.

But this isn’t the building the city is determined to have for the new library, said Tammy Westergard of the city economic development office, and there still are unanswered questions. She called the situation “part of an ongoing really exciting process.”

The building at the corner of Washington and Stewart streets isn’t “the hill to die for,” Ritter said. She said the city does hope that Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Dean Heller will be able to help.

Cities have moved into parts of administration buildings before, but much more space was available in those, Gibson said. She added she doesn’t know how talking with local representatives would change the Carson City federal building.

“It’s certainly the backdoor approach,” she said.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.