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About 100 DES construction projects considered essential and moving forward

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The Department of Enterprise Services (DES) has determined that about 100 of its approximately 350 active construction projects are considered essential and are moving forward under strict health and worker protection safety guidelines. The actual number of projects may change. A spreadsheet of the DES projects is updated on Fridays at the DES website.

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction oversees the state capital program for K-12 school construction. Each school district has independent public works contracting authority and is responsible for the administration of those construction projects.

DES worked with the state Attorney General’s Office and the Office of Financial Management to make the determination on its construction projects using criteria from the Governor’s Office, Homeland Security, as well as the definition of an emergency for public works in statute. The essential DES projects are worth about $450M.

Gov. Jay Inslee issued guidance that construction is a non-essential function with a few exceptions:

  • Construction related to essential activities
  • To further a public purpose related to a public entity or governmental function or facility
  • To avoid damage or unsafe conditions, and address emergency repairs

Non-essential projects are in the process of temporarily shutting down until the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is lifted.