Guam Preservation Trust restoring Old Legislature Building - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam Preservation Trust restoring Old Legislature Building

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - It's considered the place government first started on Guam and it's been over two decades since it was last utilized. What's next for the historic Guam Legislature Building?

Just as island residents can expect a new Guam Museum in Hagatna later this year, they can also expect work to finally begin on another building located right across the street that once housed some of the island's first lawmakers.

"It has been maybe six years since we've been planning to come up with this project it is very important to the people of Guam, it is very important for the Guam Preservation Trust it is a significance historic building because this is really where government has started and we would like to preserve and protect that area," said Joe Quinata.

It was just last week when loan documents funding the renovation and refurbishment of the Old Guam Legislature Building were finalized and signed off by the governor, attorney general and the speaker. The legislature would then enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Guam Preservation Trust who will now take the lead on the project. The loan is for $4 million with the Trust putting up an additional $3.5 million.  Quinata, chief program officer for the Trust, told KUAM News, "Now the process for rehabilitation is that of course we go out to bid then after the bid we have our conference and then our ground breaking and normally it would take not more than a year for the whole rehabilitation process to run through."

As for what you can expect, Quinata says the building will be LEED certified, approximately 20,000 square feet and house the speaker, three other senators and the executive director. The floor space will be expanded, more offices will be added and the formal session hall will be restored as much as possible to its original design.

"One especially people that have seen the Legislature Building when they were younger and in its hay-day and in its glory days, they'll expect to see the same legislature as it was first built we are going to bring that back," he added.

Quinata adds when the building is completed, he hopes the legislature can minimize its costs by not having to pay for rent out of 155 Hesler Place also located in Hagatna. "We're hoping that once this is completed that the people of Guam can once again visit the old place and the young people today will learn about our government through this completed project," he said.

Quinata says once the final documents are received by the Trust he can begin the process toward refurbishment. 
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