Planning is fully underway as the St. Paul District’s upcoming move fast approaches.
After 12 years at its current location, the district’s headquarters will be relocated to its new home in the First National Bank Building at 332 Minnesota Street in spring of 2022. The General Services Administration, or GSA, signed a 20-year lease on the district’s behalf, 10 years of which is firm, with Madison Equities for roughly 80,000 square feet and nine floors of the historic office building, once the tallest in downtown St. Paul (see sidebar).
More than 250 district employees are packing boxes and preparing their work areas for the move. “There are a number of teams working hard behind the scenes to make this happen,” said chief of real estate Kevin Sommerland. Under the direction of Dan Adams, engineering and construction, and U.S. Army Major Nick Vottero, project management, there is a team reviewing overall working on design and construction plans. Phil White, readiness operations center chief, is leading a team for security infrastructure and information technology services. Mike McGarvey, logistics chief, is overseeing a logistics team preparing for the physical move, and the district’s history committee, led by Vanessa Alberto, planning, is selecting the artwork that will be installed throughout the new facility.
Sommerland explained there are multiple moving parts involved with planning the move. “Working closely with the building management’s architectural and engineering firm, we finished the design phase for each floor in January and we are now beginning the review of preliminary construction drawings,” he said. “We anticipate the final drawings being approved by the end of June with construction beginning as early as August.” When completed, these drawings will be available on the district’s move intranet page at https://usace.dps.mil/sites/INTRA-MVP/SitePages/District-Office-Move.aspx. If all goes according to schedule, the walk-through for punch list items will occur in February or March 2022, he said, with a phased move-in process taking place over the course of a few months.
“We are also planning for our future information technology and security needs to ensure all cubicles, conference rooms, and audio/video equipment are ‘turn-key’ ready for use. The space will be protected with a security access system like our existing system,” he said. The interior finishes and artwork are now being selected. Although we know which floors will be occupied by which offices, we have not assigned cubicles to individuals at this point, he explained. Sommerland added that GSA will assign a project manager to oversee all construction activities as well as the physical move. A moving company will come in and physically move our boxes, files and other items.