The State Worker

State building’s scaffold switch delayed

An exterior scaffolding switch planned for the Board of Equalization’s downtown Sacramento headquarters is on hold until at least the middle of this month.

The state had planned to take down leased scaffolding and replace it with purchased scaffolding at the end of last month, but that plan was put off at Equalization’s request, said a spokesman for the Department of General Services, which handles the building’s repair and maintenance.

“The tenant made an 11th hour request to delay the switch out a few weeks. BOE requested (and DGS obliged) to be allowed more time to make arrangements to their operational plan during the three days of construction,” General Services spokesman Brian Ferguson said in an email. “The switchout is still going forward, probably the weekend of (August) 15th.”

Equalization spokeswoman Venus Stromberg cast the delay in a different light:

“The Department of General Services had scheduled closure of the public access to the building during regular business hours, without informing the BOE about this until the day before work was to start,” Stromberg said. “Since it was not acceptable to close off access to our taxpayers and other members of the public, the BOE requested that DGS reschedule so that all work could be accomplished during non-business hours.”

The pipe-and-plywood structure skirting the 24-story tower on N Street was leased more than two years ago after an exterior glass panel fell from the building’s 8th floor and nearly stuck a pedestrian on the sidewalk below. The $10,000-per-month lease is up, and the state has decided that purchasing a replacement for $100,000 makes sense because the equipment can be used for other projects.

Equalization Board Chairman Jerome Horton blasted the purchase as a sign the Brown administration isn’t interested in moving the agency out of the long-troubled building. Lawmakers are considering a measure that would lay groundwork for Equalization to eventually leave the tower.