Newsletter November 15

November 15, 2022

Friends, in news reports and online, you might have seen plans for the building to replace Docking State Office Building. The Department of Administration frames the project as a renovation of the current building to make it environmentally sustainable and better workplace for state employees. While indeed a forward-thinking design, the public-relations campaign completely ignores the devastating costs of demolishing Docking.

With the Kelly Administration publicly advocating for this project, it is easy to lose hope. But nothing in the state’s plans weakens the Plains Modern case. Quite the opposite! It is now clear to anyone who will look that there are prudent and feasible alternatives to razing Docking, a state and national landmark.

However, it is painfully clear that only the Plains Modern petition for judicial review will stop demolition of a Kansas icon. Your charitable contributions to the legal fund are what make the legal challenge possible. If you have not yet contributed, please make a gift now at our secure PayPal Donation site. If you have already given, thank you and please consider an additional gift.

Know the facts about “Mocking” Versus Docking State Office Building

Docking is being demolished, not renovated. The current building is being torn down to the ground, salvaging some materials, and a new building constructed over the existing power plant. The new structure is designed for the same purposes as Docking, namely, offices and meeting space.

The project is a fiscal boondoggle. Based on the legislature’s figures, a rehabbed Docking would cost taxpayers about $250 per square foot. The new building will cost $600 per square foot. Twenty percent of the cost of the new project is in demolition. Who pays 20 percent to tear down a sound structure so that they have less real value in the end? Only the state, flush cash with and quick to appease Topeka commercial property owners.

The project is an environmental disaster. If Docking goes to the landfill, 30,000 tons of embedded CO2 go with it, and another 11,000 tons will be used to construct the new building. Conservatively, it will take 56.6 years of energy savings in the new building as compared to conventional structures to make up for this waste.

Salvaging materials makes the project neither environmental nor historical sensitive. Contractors this year assessing the natural stone to be salvaged found it in good condition—so good that there is no need to remove it in the first place. Why is the Kelly Administration forcing the taxpayers to cough up to make the project appear historical sensitive?

All environmental and workplace improvements in the new design can be a part of a rehabilitated Docking–everything from low-flow toilets and daylight access to wellness center and EV charging stations.

Mark your calendar

Mark your calendar: Plains Modern v. Kelly oral argument is set for December 6 at 11:00 am, before the Honorable Teresa Watson, Division 3 – Office: 324 – Courtroom: 3I in the Shawnee County Courthouse. Judge Watson needs to see that Kansans care about the fate of Docking. Plan now to hear arguments in person as you are able.