Legislative Council Chair Hannan: 'The Assembly Building will play a valuable role in the operations of the Legislature'
JUNEAU — The Legislative Council voted earlier this week to accept the Juneau Community Foundation’s donation of the Assembly Building located at 211 Fourth Street in Juneau to the Legislature’s Capitol complex. With this gift, the complex now totals five adjacent buildings.
Located directly across the street from the Thomas Stewart Legislative Office Building, the Assembly Building will be refurbished once the House-Senate committee Legislative Council determines the best use of the facility, which could include legislative housing, consolidation of legislative offices not located in the complex, and leased space for private entities.
Currently, there are nine tenants leasing space who will likely remain under existing agreements while plans for the building are finalized.
Legislative Council Chair Sara Hannan (D-Juneau) said she was pleased by the donation: “As a representative for Juneau in the House, I thank the Foundation for such a generous demonstration of its commitment to the Legislature and to the City and Borough of Juneau. The Assembly Building will play a valuable role in the operations of the Legislature and the Capital City’s capacity to welcome lawmakers from across the state year after year.”
“What is now an underused building can make Alaska’s government work better for the whole state,” added Sen. Jesse Kiehl (D-Juneau). “This private gift will help Alaskans from every corner of our state gather in the capital to do the people’s work.”
Purchase of the Assembly Building was made possible by the Juneau Community Foundation’s Juneau Capitol Fund. The purpose of this donor-advised fund is to assist and support the City and Borough of Juneau and others to augment and improve the State Capitol complex. Since 2014, the Juneau Capitol Fund has provided $3.4M in grants for projects, including major upgrades to the interior and exterior of the Capitol; Gavel to Gavel equipment in the Capitol; purchase of the Behrends House donated to the Governor’s Office; and upgrades to Capital School Park.
Sen. Bert Stedman (R-Sitka), a Legislative Council member and co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee said, “Having had my eye on that parcel for years, knowing it would enhance the Capitol complex, I’m grateful to the Juneau Community Foundation for their generous donation. I’m looking forward to the renovations and the benefits the building will bring to the Legislature and downtown Juneau.”
Jim Clark, chair of the Capitol Fund Donor Advisory Group, said, “The purchase of the Assembly Building and donation to the Alaska State Legislature was good for the State and good for Juneau. It demonstrates Juneau’s commitment to assist in providing the resources to make Juneau the best possible Capital for Alaska. We will continue to look for opportunities to improve the Capitol campus.”