Transportation Museum may receive $1.7 million

The N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer is slated to receive more than $1.7 million for repairs and improvements if a legislative commission OKs a project list released Monday.

After years of budget pinching, the state budget office described Monday how it wants to spend $90 million the General Assembly earmarked to improve state agency buildings.

The 191 construction projects include work at the State Veterans Home in Salisbury, Reed Gold Mine in Cabarrus County and the Division of Emergency Management warehouse in Badin.

The Office of State Budget and Management released the 2013-14 Repair and Renovation Reserve project list, which will be reviewed later this month by the General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations.

N.C. Transportation Museum projects listed are:

$600,000 for a complete renovation of the powerhouse, damaged by a tornado in 2010. This is to finish a project that received a $1 million allocation in 2012-13 and includes a new roof, new supports, masonry repairs, doors, windows and more.

$569,000 for sitewide building repairs and code-compliance improvements. This includes the repair of three Roundhouse exhaust fans; replacement of the turntable’s concrete slab; renovation of the Barber Junction Visitor Center; improvements to the visitor’s center ramp; repairs and a nonslip surface for the concrete plaza; repair of the plaza handrail and fences; paint for a guardrail system next to the Master Mechanics Building; prep, prime and paint for Roundhouse windows and siding; installation of a new wooden deck over the plaza loading dock; new screens over three sides of a metal warehouse building.

$535,000 to make the 100,000-square-foot Back Shop suitable for exhibits and special events. This includes roof repairs, fire alarm and suppression systems, restrooms, an updated concrete floor surface, improved exits, additional lighting and a public walkway. The building will not be heated or air-conditioned.

Other projects in this area include:

Salisbury Veterans Administration Nursing Home, $298,000 for elevator upgrades, making the entrance accessible to the disabled and new boiler control equipment.

Reed Gold Mine Historic Site, $290,000 to repair and update the visitors center and pave the parking lot; $20,000 to replace the windows and doors of the maintenance building; and $15,000 to replace the roof of the staff residence.

Badin Warehouse, $138,000 for the electrical system and $86,000 for access, dock and exhaust repairs.

The plan also allocates about $80,000 for improvements at National Guard readiness centers statewide.

Gov. Pat McCrory’s two-year budget proposal had sought to set aside a combined $300 million for all repairs and renovations through mid-2015. He said earlier this year that mending state government infrastructure was a leading priority of his administration.

Lawmakers also voted this year to allocate $60 million to fix University of North Carolina system buildings.

Before this fiscal year, elected officials had provided less than $70 million in net funds for repairs and renovations to UNC and state buildings since mid-2009.

“This is the first step of fulfilling my promise to the people of North Carolina to rebuild and repair state facilities that have been ignored for far too long,” McCrory said in a news release.

The projects include retooling windows at the old Capitol building, painting the Thomas Wolfe House in Asheville and repairing the fire and security system at Tryon Palace in New Bern. Other projects focus on exterior building waterproofing, heating and air conditioning unit replacements.

The Department of Administration, which manages state buildings, said contracts could be in place for many projects before Christmas if the legislative oversight committee reviews the list soon.

Most of the state building improvements are under $500,000 and don’t require bonding, which should assist smaller construction firms and historically underutilized businesses in the competitive bidding, the department said.

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