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In 1931 the State Building and Ground Commission of the State of Delaware was created by an act of the legislature. The four gubernatorially appointed members served with the Governor to acquire lands for the construction and furnishing of a building for the General Assembly. The Commission served until the objectives of the act had been completed. It was charged with the following responsibilities:

1. Acquire by purchase, gift, or condemnation lands and premises in Dover (situated between the St. Jones’ River and the east line of Dover Green) to be used as sites for State buildings and grounds;
2. Cause lands to be surveyed, laid out, and beautified to facilitate their usage as building sites for State government offices;
3. Oversee construction and furnishing of a new Legislative Hall;
4. Employ and fix salaries and length of employment for the necessary architect(s) and engineer (s).1
Legislative Hall was erected in 1932; the Commission was thereupon dissolved.
In 1943 the State Building and Grounds Commission was re-established. The Governor appointed five persons who, with himself, performed many of the same tasks as the earlier Commission. Their responsibilities were expanded, however, and the Commission was to last indefinitely, overseeing State-owned buildings and lands within the City of Dover. The Commission was charged with the following responsibilities:

1. Approve and determine the locations of State buildings upon State lands in Dover;
2. Determine the style of architecture of any State-owned buildings erected, reconstructed, or altered in Dover;
3. Supervise the furnishing or refurnishing of the Governor’s office;
4. Serve in an advisory capacity for the furnishing of important public rooms in State buildings;
5. Advise the custodian on landscaping and maintenance of State-owned lands.2
In 1944 the legislature added three additional responsibilities which broadened the scope of the Commission:

1. Acquire by purchase, gift, or condemnation lands needed by the State;
2. Supervise the setting aside of certain portions of land to be used, if necessary, to alter existing roadways;
3. Make and enter into contracts for services, labor, materials, and employees as needed.
Additionally, restrictions were placed upon all State facilities located on State-owned lands in the City of Dover prohibiting them from erecting, altering, or reconstructing a State building without first receiving approval of the Commission for architectural style, internal and external appearance, and if a new building, placement on the land.3

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In 1951 the Building and Grounds Commission’s tasks were amended to include the responsibility for determining the location of all pipes, conduits, cables, etc., required for utility service on and across state-owned lands.4
In 1970 the General Assembly created the Department of Administrative Services as part of the reorganization of the State government. Within that Department was the Division of State Buildings. The Council on State Buildings subsumed the members and functions of the State Building and Grounds Commission, serving in an advisory capacity to the Director of State Buildings on matters relating to the planning, construction, and maintenance of State buildings and lands.5
In 1973 the Division of State Buildings was abolished by Executive order and its powers, duties, and functions transferred to the Division of Facilities Management and the Division of Maintenance and Communications within the Department of Administrative Services.6

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1 37 D.L., ch. 5.

2 44 D.L., ch. 211.

3 45 D.L., ch. 294.

4 48 D.L., ch. 116.

5 57 D.L., ch. 581.

6 Executive Order Number 7, Governor Sherman Tribbitt, April 6, 1973.
SLE; April 4, 1989; April 20, 1989

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