GEF1 building in Madison could be closed for 8+ weeks - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

GEF1 building in Madison could be closed for 8+ weeks

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Administration says the GEF1 building could be closed for eight weeks or longer for cleanup and repairs following a fire last Friday.

Spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis says there are continued inspections taking place of the structural and mechanical systems in the building on E. Washington Avenue. Marquis says the department will have better estimates once the engineers are able to finalize their evaluations on the damage to floors, ceilings and other structures in the building. 

The building houses the state Departments of Workforce Development (DWD) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Many employees of those agencies have been working at home or alternate locations. Officials say most workers will have a long-term location set before Tuesday, May 27.

DWD and DCF staff members will not be returning to the building until after the cleanup is complete and the ventilation system has been cleared. There will also be no parking in the GEF1 building until further notice because the ventilation system is connected throughout the building, including the parking garage.

The Madison Fire Department said the fire has been ruled accidental due to an electrical fault/failure.

Marquis says the building had last been inspected on December 6, 2013 and there were no violations. The building is due for its next inspection before June 30.

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