The much-reviled Kinkead Building will be taken down before the end of this year.
“The goal is to have it down by mid-December at latest,” said Public Works Manager Gus Nuñez.
Nuñez has been trying to demolish Kinkead, described as the worst building the state ever built, for nearly a decade since it was vacated because of numerous structural issues. This legislative session, finally, the budget to do the job survived the legislative process. Nuñez has a total of $1,696,128 to hire a contractor.
Now the question is, will the governor’s Chief of Staff Mike Willden get his wish: implode the building and hold a raffle to see which former tenant gets to push the plunger. Willden said he’s certain there are a large number of state workers who had to put up with offices in the Kinkead who would be willing to buy tickets for that chance.
That, Nuñez said, will be up to the contractor that wins the bid to do the job. He said technical issues with the way Kinkead was constructed may dictate a more conservative approach.
The building is what he described as a “post tension” building with tensioned cables in the concrete floors. He said the concern is the steel wedges that tension those cables could become projectiles if the building is imploded.
The more mundane option, Nuñez said, is a piece of equipment that literally tears the building apart, taking huge bites out of the structure like some prehistoric monster.
Kinkead was built in 1975 and, within months, started having major problems. The windows leaked, floors started tilting and concrete chunks in the building’s core began breaking loose.
The only people who will mourn the loss of Kinkead are area public safety, police and fire crews who use it for training. Deputy Public Works Manager Chris Chimits, however, said the floors are sagging badly and the core structure of the building is failing.
“I think if we wait much longer, the building will come down itself,” he said when the budget was released in January.