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Hopes high to restore Old Congress Building

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - The restoration of the old Congress Building in Hagatna may soon take place, as the Guam Preservation Trust is hoping to move with that project forward...soon.

The Guam Congress Building (also known as the Guam Legislature Building) has been sitting in Hagatna and waiting for restoration to take place. Due to natural disasters and other things, the building was declared unsafe in the late 1980s. Guam Preservation Trust Chief Program Officer Joe Quinata says today, they're hoping for some work to be done.

The Preservation Trust board had approved the project and has been working to ensure it comes to fruition. Quinata says the architectural and engineering design and lead certification are in the final stages. He says it'll be great to have lawmakers move into this building. "The Guam Legislature, of course, was built - the first government structure that was built after the war and since then, there have been technology and a lot of things that have been added to an office space, so we've designed the rehabilitation and restoration of the Guam Legislature to meet the office requirements of today," he told KUAM News.

The Old Congress Building has so much historical value that it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places back in 2007. Part of the plan includes adding additional space to the original footprint to accommodate space. The cost will come from the Legislature's budget.

Continued Quinata, "If you look at the design, the original footprint has two wings - one in the front and the other in the back. The added space is going to sort of mimic the back wing and extending in the rear of the building. So you will see the A&E vernacular of the whole structure itself but see the difference in the new space that is added on."

Quinata says he's hoping for paperwork to be completed by this month, noting, "The last step of the A&E design really is to review the lead certification and minor details of the overall design."

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