Assembly committee moves Centennial Hall and JACC projects forward

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The next step is the Assembly Committee of the Whole on July 8.

    The estimated price for Centennial Hall improvements is $18 million.  This would include mechanical and electrical system modifications, replacement of heating units, duct modifications for airflow, improvements to electric, and a new Wi-Fi system.  New flooring for the large ballroom, a repair or replacement of the movable walls, and new lighting for the ballroom were also recommended.  An expansion of the lobby is also on the list of improvements.   The Assembly has $4.5 million in 1-cent sales tax revenue dedicated to Centennial Hall improvements.

    Other proposals for Centennial Hall include renovations of the break out rooms for $700,000. 

    Another improvement includes making West Third Street an actual street that connects Whittier and Willoughby.   The CBJ recently demolished the old public safety building that will be converted into a parking lot.

    CBJ officials said all of the work doesn't have to be done now.  Staff requested a priority list for Centennial Hall.

    Chairman Michele Bonnet-Hale wanted the committee to send on to the Committee of the Whole a recommendation for $4.5 million in general obligation bonds for the new Juneau Arts and Culture Center.  This would require a public referendum this fall.

    She also suggested support for a separate ballot measure for $4.1 million in general obligation bonds to improve Centennial Hall.  Her motions failed (3-1).

    The committee forwarded the discussion on Centennial Hall renovations be sent to the Committee of the Whole.

    The committee forwarded the proposed Juneau Arts and Culture Center project to the Committee of the Whole for discussion.

    Public Works Director Mike Vigue said the CBJ received a $25,000 grant from the Rasmuson Foundation and $10,000 from the Alaska Humanities Forum to create and install the community voices audio wayfinding project as part of the downtown wayfinding project.

    The CBJ plans to collaborate with the community engagement company Ping Chong + Company, Southeast Alaska musicians and media producers to create a set of site-specific audio installations.  The system will guide Juneau visitors and locals on a journey through downtown Juneau.  The system will be installed in the spring of 2020.  PCC artists Ryan Conarro and Lillian Petershoare will bring artistic and research expertise and deep connections to Juneau to produce the series that features the real voices and stories of diverse Juneau residents.  The project is designed to illuminate the lesser-known history of Juneau like the original Tlingit community, gold rush era, fisheries, political histories, and geographical features.

    The committee agreed to recommend the appropriations of these two grants to the full Assembly.

    Juneau Airport Manager Patty Wahto said four artists have been selected to create various pieces of art to put in the expanded terminal.  The cost is $147,800.   The works include "Herring Catch" by Rachael Juzeler for $42,800, "Formline Design Wall Mural" by Alison Marks for $20,000, "Wooden Carving" by Robert Mills for $35,000, and "Southeast Scenery Etched Glass" by Crystal Worl of $50,000.  These pieces of art will help the project comply with the CBJ ordinance on art works in public places.  It requires 1-percent of construction costs be devoted to public art.  35 proposals were reviewed for the project.

    In discussion items, the committee learned the CBJ will install some pedestrian stanchions on a section of South Franklin Street from Manila Square to 365 South Franklin Street.  The goal of the pilot program is to improve pedestrian safety and vehicle flow.  There has been an issue of pedestrians walking in the roadway during the summer.  The stanchions will be installed on a season basis.  They will be installed on May 15 and removed on October 1 each year.

    The bid opening for the Archipelago project will be held on Tuesday at City Hall.

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