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Fire at the terminal building

A firefighter is framed in a blackened window Feb. 19 following an early morning fire at the Terminal Building. 

The state of Nebraska is looking to lease office space for three state agencies, including a permanent home for the Department of Insurance after a fire in February in the downtown Terminal Building led to the cancellation of the department's lease. 

As long as the Insurance Department is moving, the state would like to join it with the Department of Banking and Finance to improve on efficiency and collaboration, said Ashley Holmes, commercial leasing coordinator for the Department of Administrative Services. 

The state would also like to put the Department of Environmental Quality under one roof, for efficiency and coordination of work activities, Holmes said. 

The Banking and Finance Department is at 15th and K streets in the former Woodmen Accident and Life building that was purchased by the state. The Department of Environmental Quality is at 1200 N St., the Atrium Building. 

Finding the right spot could mean all three agencies could be housed together, according to a request for proposals. 

The state is receptive to finding existing buildings or new construction, and a lease-to-own option. 

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The request for bids went out in June and is due Tuesday.

One option would be to find about 46,000 square feet for the departments of insurance and banking and finance, the request showed. The Department of Environmental Quality would need nearly 69,000 square feet. Putting all three together would need about 115,000 square feet of space.

The DEQ's lease is expiring and needs to be rebid, she said. 

Holmes said costs for the move would be similar to existing rental amounts, but won't be known for sure until proposals are received. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7228 or jyoung@journalstar.com

On Twitter @LJSLegislature.

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State government reporter

JoAnne Young covers state government, including the Legislature and state agencies, and the people they serve.

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