MONTPELIER — U.S. Agriculture Department workers are due to move from rented space in City Center to the post office building by late March, making room available in their former space.
Dump trucks have been hauling away debris in recent weeks as a U.S. General Services Administration-led crew retrofits a former courtroom on the third floor of the federal building on State Street.
The move will be a benefit to downtown, opening up space for another tenant at City Center, and fits with a federal policy to have permanent rather than rented spaces, said USDA Rural Development’s Vermont and New Hampshire state director, Molly Lambert, on Wednesday.
“In the last two months, they’ve actually started the fit-up and now they should be beginning the construction phase,” Lambert said.
The Rural Development office, with about 25 employees, plans to relocate by late March, Lambert said.
The new office will have space for about 32 employees. Some seven retirements occurred as plans for the move progressed, and the USDA currently has a hiring freeze.
The office setup will go from closed doors to cubicles or “semi-private office modules,” Lambert said.
City Center developer Doug Nedde did not immediately return phone calls Wednesday. The USDA office is on the third floor of the building at Main and East State streets.
In Vermont, USDA Rural Development also has a St. Johnsbury satellite office and a location in Brattleboro.
Lambert said the renovations should be done a few weeks before the relocation.
“Hopefully by mid-March they’ll be completed,” she said.
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