WATERBURY — Vermont officials marked the opening Monday of the rebuilt and renovated state office complex in Waterbury more than four years after it was flooded during Tropical Storm Irene.
The first Agency of Human Services employees are due to start working in the complex next week while others will be returning over the next several months.
Gov. Peter Shumlin said Irene left in its aftermath pain, heartache and devastation in much of Vermont, including Waterbury, one of the hardest hit communities in the state.
"We all made a promise together that we were going to pull together as only Vermonters can do and rebuild this town and this state better than the way Irene found us," Shumlin said. "And there is no greater testament to that determination, that vision and that pure will power on the part of Vermonters than this project."
The Waterbury construction project, which cost about $130 million, was the largest state construction project in history. Construction included a new 86,000-square-foot office building and renovations to a number of the original historic buildings.
The facility will use about 25 percent less energy than the old buildings.
The entire facility, located near the banks of the Winooski River, the source of Irene's flood waters, was also built to withstand future storms.