Positively Impacting Humans & Animals
How do you turn a city dump into a place that positively impacts the lives of millions of people and animals? You turn it into the Idaho Department of Fish & Game headquarters. In 1960, the first Idaho Fish & Game building was built to help preserve, protect, perpetuate, and manage wildlife resources in Idaho. Today a brand-new building sets in its predecessor’s place, continuing that mission.
The Idaho Fish & Game Mission
Since 2008 there has been conversation around rebuilding the outdated Fish & Game Building. While it had served its purpose for many years, the Department quickly outgrew the building and needed more space. It wasn’t until 2019 that the Foundation issued tax-exempt bonds for the building so construction could begin in September of 2020. The project was not only completed early, but it also came in under budget. Overseeing the successful project was Hilarie Engle, the Executive Director of the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Foundation that partners with the department to protect, preserve, perpetuate and manage Idaho’s wildlife resources. Along with overseeing the foundation’s activities, Hilarie acts as the project manager for constructing new buildings. Thanks to her efforts, the new building houses 170 department staff members once to the four winds. “This building is huge for Fish & Game. It brings all the bureaus back together again (some of which were separated for 25 years), and the collaboration from meeting one-on-one is so different than having to do a zoom call or phone call. Seeing everybody come together is one of the coolest parts of this project.”
The New Building
Not only is the building bringing everyone together, it is also beautiful. Between the colors, animal mounts, and murals, it is a highly welcoming and energizing environment. “I see employees walk into the building, and they are excited about it. They tell me how they love walking into the building knowing they get to come work here.” Some spaces the employees especially enjoy are the breakrooms. Coworkers will join each other in the break rooms whereas they used to eat alone at their desks. Others utilize the nearby greenbelt or visit the MK nature center when they need a break and some fresh air before returning to store their items in the bike room or take a shower. Another space making a difference is the large auditorium that the commission uses to formally hold its meetings.
Working With OEC
With so many different bureaus under one roof, each floor looks a little different. Some are workstation heavy while others enjoy private offices with great views over Municipal Park. Helping with the furniture installation, move, and animal mounts were the OEC team. With three floors to fill, it was a big project. “OEC’s design and install team really shined on this project. They were phenomenal. They worked their tails off and were wonderful to work with. Wendy (OEC designer) showed me things I never would have thought about, and the install team met every single deadline. It was unbelievable everything that they moved, and they were honest about their timelines and really pleasant to work with.”
With everyone in and loving the new building, the department is excited to continue working toward its mission of preserving species so that everyone can enjoy them.
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