Fit into Juneau’s historic urban fabric, the Library, Archives and Museum celebrates the past, present and future of Alaska by combining the three functions of the State of Alaska Education and Early Department – Library, Archives and Museums Division – into one building. Visitors enter the 118,000-square-foot building through an awe-inspiring atrium, featuring a dramatic high-ceilinged lobby showcasing an eagle tree and a giant terrazzo floor map of Alaska. At its heart, the museum’s goal is to protect the existing collections and to provide Alaskan communities with a facility to store, accommodate and display artifacts of Native American cultures and antiquities while providing a modern atmosphere to access and enjoy literature.

Built on the same ground as the original museum, which was previously spread over five separate areas, careful planning was needed to preserve the existing artifacts during construction. We developed a phasing plan that involved building two secure vault spaces – each about 10,000 square feet – to store the artifacts until their final display area was finished. After the vaults were completed, we built a temporary tunnel to transport 32,000 artifacts to the secured vaults, protecting them from the harsh Alaskan winter.

During construction, an issue arose surrounding the acceptability of concrete reinforcement positioning cables, which had the potential to put the project almost two months behind schedule. Our team addressed the challenge and used Lean construction principles and pull planning to ultimately recover the schedule delays.

The new Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff Library, Archives and Museum opened in June 2017, one year before the 150th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase. The new facility provides the State of Alaska room to grow and space for 50 years’ worth of new collections for all to enjoy. 

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