Local News

Museum expansion cost estimate: $8.2 million

The Centennial Building in downtown Ketchikan, seen on a sunny day last summer.

In a special meeting Thursday, the Ketchikan City Council will look at ideas for renovating the downtown Centennial Building.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Ted Ferry Civic Center.

The city commissioned an assessment of the building, and the Anchorage-based Foraker Group paid for a report on expanding the Tongass Historical Museum, which now is the building’s only tenant.

The Centennial Building housed the library, too, until recently. The Ketchikan Public Library has moved into its new building on Copper Ridge.

According to a summary of the museum expansion report, renovations to accommodate the museum’s needs would cost about $8.2 million. If the city instead chose to only fund repairs and upgrades, the cost would be about $6.8 million. A completely new facility at that site, including demolition of the old building, would be the most expensive option at $9.5 million.

City Manager Karl Amylon noted in a memo that while the project likely is more expensive than the Council anticipated, most of the cost comes from necessary upgrades to mechanical, electric, roofing and heating systems, code compliance and federal Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Thursday’s meeting will include presentations about the proposed project. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.

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