- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Information Technology Department has moved into a $17 million building in north Bismarck, putting its staff in the capital city all under one roof.

Employees had been spread among five Bismarck locations, including the state Capitol. The move to the new 85,000-square-foot facility frees up about 10,000 square feet of space inside the Capitol that will be used by other agencies.

It took about three weeks to move the 300 staff from the five locations, department Chief Information Officer Mike Ressler told The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1poMzY4 ). The effort wrapped up late last week. The department also has about 40 staff members who will remain in Fargo.

Having all of the Bismarck workers in one facility should make operations more efficient because it should cut down on the amount of time needed for communication among various sites, said Ressler, who has been pushing for the move for a decade.

“I’m hoping efficiencies create savings,” he said.

The agency’s current budget is about $171 million. It is funded primarily by fees and costs paid by other state agencies for which it provides services.

Vacated Information Technology space in the Capitol will be used by the North Dakota Supreme Court, the Secretary of State’s Office, the state Department of Labor and Human Rights and the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission.

“We want all of this done by the end of the year,” said John Boyle, director of the department that manages state facilities.

The Department of Human Services has rented space at two of the four vacated Information Technology office locations away from the Capitol grounds, Boyle said. No other agencies have expressed interest in renting space at the other two locations.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com