Final Kinkead chapter too long in writing
March 10, 2006
On Monday, 45 workers from the state Department of Information Technology began moving out of a building so poorly constructed that it would be comical were there not significant safety issues at stake.
The Kinkead Building needs no introduction among state workers and others who have read about their plight over the years. The floor sags or tilts several inches in some of the rooms, enough to cause drawers to open by themselves and chairs to roll away.
There are hundreds of safety issues in the building, located a block east of the Capitol and state Library buildings.
Monday came years later than it should have – the Legislature was fully aware of the problem, but found other spending priorities to address first. It’s a sad statement about misplaced priorities.
It wasn’t until last summer that a decision was made to move everyone out and shut down the building.
While the 45 workers who left Monday are free from the worries that come from working in the building, ranging from tripping on uneven floors to outright catastrophe should an earthquake occur, about 350 workers from the Department of Human Services are not so lucky. They may have to stay in the Kinkead building until fall, when remodeling is done at the Harley-Davidson credit offices on Energy Way.
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Members of the Legislature who dragged their feet should pray there are no significant shakes until then. Their next task, in 2007, will be to write the final chapter on the Kinkead comedy – planning for its removal.
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