State to implode old Georgia archives building near Capitol March 5

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State to implode old Georgia archives building near Capitol March 5

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Former Georgia Archive building, located in the shadows of the state Capitol, will be brought down to make way for a new state courts building. BRANT SANDERLIN /BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM .

Workers are scheduled to implode the old state archives building at sunrise on March 5, a few weeks before the General Assembly may approve the money to build a new courts building on the property.

The plans have been in the works for a few years, ever since lawmakers approved the money to bring down the building a block from the state Capitol and design a new home for the state’s Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

The Georgia Building Authority had hoped to implode the old archives, called the “White Ice Cube,” last year, but the 51-year-old building needed more asbestos remediation before it could be demolished.

About three decades after the archives opened, engineers determined that it was sinking due to groundwater and nearby interstate construction. Estimates to repair and refurbish the archives hit $40 million.

Instead of spending the money, a new archives facility was built near Clayton State University, and the old archives building has been used as a movie set on and off for years.

Gov. Nathan Deal has championed the idea of building a new state courts building on the site. He’s proposed borrowing $105 million in next year’s budget for the courts building. State lawmakers still have to approve the expenditure. The price tag will make it one of the most expensive state-funded buildings ever constructed.

The planned implosion has forced some changes to one annual event held near the site. The Atlanta Community Food Bank’s annual hunger walk/run will be held a few hours later and is having to work around road closings in the area.

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