Monday, October 25, 2021

Been cutting 20% ​​of the leased space; other buildings looking for a million dollar purpose

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Now departments need to find ways to use them while tax dollars continue to pay the rent. Not all agencies work out of the Capitol building or even have their own state office.

Some lease private office space. For years, they’ve been based out of this building in north Bismarck, but many of the jobs they did here can be done anywhere.

The State Information Technology Department oversees much of the state’s computing and data security needs. “Our software developers do a lot of work where it’s fingers on keyboards. They’re doing a lot of coding, a lot of that, a lot of scenario running, and you don’t need to be face-to-face with somebody to do a lot of that,” ITD Director of Finance Greg Hoffman said.

Now, many workers are leaving this building, and it already has a costly history. Like many other state departments, ITD is scaling down how much space it needs.

Most contracts on privately-owned buildings are two-year leases, which expire this year. Many departments are condensing their space within the Capitol building, or leaving their privately-leased space and moving to places like the Bank of North Dakota.

However, the ITD building is on a 10-year lease, costing the state $1.4 million, and there are four years left on that deal, according to Boyle. By cutting one-fifth of their leased space, North Dakota is expected to save about $1 million. “Towards the end of last year, that space then became available for them to move back into. Well, when you’re all set up at home and everything, you’re kind of used to working at home,” Facilities Manager John Boyle said.

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