State lawmakers are considering spending requests for a couple of construction projects at state buildings.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s 2017-19 recommended budget includes $21.8 million in limited obligation bonds to renovate the Legislative Office Building. Mark Bondo, budget analyst with the Office of State Budget and Management, told a House committee this week that the estimated cost of the building’s renovation was based on what it cost to renovate the Albemarle Building on North Salisbury Street, but cut in half because that building had more significant needs.
Lawmakers, however, had more questions about the budget’s $4 million general-fund allocation to construct a permanent canopy around Green Square – which has been plagued by falling glass since its construction was completed in 2012.
Bondo said that money would supplement existing funds to “completely fix that situation.”
Kent Jackson, director of the State Construction Office, told lawmakers that over the last few months inspectors were able to determine the glass used at Green Square was up to state building codes and that there has been a decrease in falling glass.
What caused the breakage in the first place? Nickel sulfide inclusions, a naturally occurring phenomenon when glass is tempered to make it stronger, he said.
Jackson said the plan is to safeguard public areas in and around the Museum of Natural Sciences’ Nature Research Center and the Department of Environmental Quality. Beyond the new canopy, some of the glass will be replaced.