State office may close for six months

Posted: Sunday, December 24, 2000

JUNEAU (AP) -- The state office building damaged by an oil spill last Sunday may be closed for six months.

Administration Commissioner Jim Duncan says rehabilitation work will force state employees and private tenants to find alternate work sites.

Duncan says the oil did major damage to the west wall and insulation, as well as dry board and carpeting in the building.

''For the comfort of the tenants and the convenience of the contractor in charge of renovation, the decision was made to vacate the building until all work is complete, with the exception of the Alaska State Employees Federal Credit Union,'' Duncan said.

He said tenants should be relocated within the next couple of weeks after their equipment and furnishings are moved.

Health and Social Services and Corrections employees will be accommodated within existing department space. Other workers will be placed in private office space.

Duncan says there is enough money in a self-insurance fund to move ahead with rehabilitation and construction work.

The diesel overflowed from an oil tank at the top of the building. It was determined that the float valve in the tank malfunctioned, resulting in the continuous pumping of the oil to the tank.

State employees have been operating out of temporary space, or have been on on administrative leave, since the spill.

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