A three-year project to tear down an old building and parking garage at the foot of the Capitol Campus and replace it with a shiny new, five-story office building that will serve as headquarters for the Washington State Patrol and house six other state agency tenants is nearing completion, with the first few groups already inside and more moving in each week.
A major part of the finishing touches in recent months included a considerable effort by WaTech staff to install the tangle of intricate communications systems. The work involved at least three weekends as WaTech teams helped small agencies move from their current locations and assemble the necessary wires, fiber optic lines and telephone systems at the new location.
The new building, located at Capital Way and 11th Avenue, is officially named the 106 11th Building but has often been called “1063,” short for the 1063 Block Replacement Project. A proposal to name it the Helen Sommers Building after the longtime legislator who died earlier this year stalled in the legislature in the 2017 session, but could come up for another vote in 2018. WaTech is handling the technology aspects in close coordination with buildng tenants and the Department of Enterprise Services (DES), which oversaw project design and construction and is coordinating overall move-in activities.
Besides the State Patrol, which changes its headquarters from the General Administration Building to the new building and will locate about 450 staff there, tenant agencies include the three units from the Office of Financial Management that comprise about 80 state workers, three sections from the legislative branch – including its IT support group - for another 80 and another 40 staff from the Office of the State Treasurer. The State Patrol begins moving staff into their new headquarters on Dec. 1. In all about 735 state employees are expected to occupy 106 11th.
WaTech staff partnered with the facilities and technology departments of all seven groups that are moving in, although some more than others. One of the primary client agencies was the Office of Financial Management, which is moving its Results Washington, Forecasting and Statewide Accounting units into the building. According to WaTech Project Manager Les Profitt, the general work for all tenants included its fiber and backbone systems.
“Our primary focus was for the Department of Enterprise Services/OFM as we support the shared data and wireless networks they use, as well as computers in the common conference rooms,” Profitt said.
|Employees with the Office of Financial Management in their new space in the 106 11th Building.|
Some of the agencies – such as the State Patrol and the Legislature’s “LegTech” group – did their own building network, phones and wireless work.
“We had a fairly light touch with the Office of the State Treasurer, doing phone and a couple of wireless access points,” he said.
As WaTech's network, computer services and telephone teams were finishing up, the agency's support services group swooped in to help their agency clients with the actual moves, overseeing the transfer of computers and related office systems from the nearby General Administration and Capitol Court buildings into the new building. That process took three weekends, said BlackHawke Marshall, also in the project management office. The weekends were necessary so about 120 new building occupants could walk into their new work homes on a Monday.
Design and implementation of the building's telephone systems was conducted by WaTech's telephony group. Group manager Eric Talberg said building phones are Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), although lines in the conference rooms are of the standard analog service to accommodate the requirements of the video conferencing equipment. The Department of Enterprise Services (DES) and common rooms are assigned 25 VoIP sets and seven analog lines. OFM has 80 VoIP phones and the Office of the State Treasurer has 45 VoIP phones.
The new building features an open-air lobby with an art installation by its central stairway. One of its most unusual features is an open elevator with floor to ceiling exterior glass so occupants can peer out during their ride.
|Conference Room being used by Results Washington, a unit within the Office of Financial Management.|