DGS Milestones


  • DGS created in 1963 by legislation signed by Governor Edmund “Pat” Brown.
  • In 1963, several offices that were part of other state agencies were transferred to DGS including the Office of Administrative Hearings; the Department of Public Works’ Division of Architecture; the Department of Finance’s Automotive Management Section, Insurance Office, Office of Local Assistance (now Office of Public School Construction), and office building planning, leasing and real estate services.

  • Carl C McElvy, Sr. becomes State Architect, coinciding with the creation of DGS, in which the Office of the State Architect was reorganized as the Division of the State Architect.
  • In 1969, the majority of DGS divisions consolidate into headquarters located at 915 Capitol Mall in Sacramento. 


  • DGS oversees the centralization of state government in the downtown Sacramento area with the planning, design and construction of several state buildings in the Capitol core. 
  • 1975, ground is broken for the California Highway Patrol Academy in West Sacramento, a DGS-managed project.   
  • DGS and the State Architect take a leadership role in responding to the energy crisis of the 70s by implementing statewide energy conservation guidelines and an energy efficient building program.

  • 1976, the State Capitol building closes to the public for one of the most extensive restoration efforts in the United States. DGS oversees the project which concludes with a reopening to the public in 1982.

  • DGS initiates a statewide recycling program in state office buildings.  
  • In order to make state government contracting more accessible to small businesses, the DGS Procurement Division creates the Office of Small Business in 1974.

  • DGS starts the first State Employee Holiday Food Drive in 1975. 


  • Legislation directs DGS to create a centralized database for all state owned property. The Statewide Property Inventory maintained by DGS contains information on approximately 2,900 state-owned real properties and 25,000 structures, as well as approximately 2,300 leases totaling 20 million square feet.

  • DGS designs state-of-the-art energy efficiency technology into several Department of Motor Vehicle facilities in Los Angeles including HID (high intensity discharge) lighting fixtures that were more energy efficient than fluorescent fixtures.

  • California's prison construction program exceeds the State Architect's capacity. Responsibility for design and building new prisons transfers to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
  • DGS initiates discount airfares through consolidated contracts.  
  • DGS moves the state’s telecommunications systems to fiber optic technology.  
  • DGS implements the 9-1-1 emergency telephone program. 
  • California State Police celebrate 100th anniversary. 


  • State office consolidation effort results in new construction and major renovation of office buildings throughout the state including San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles.

  • 1995, State Police responsibilities transferred to California Highway Patrol.

  • 1996, Office of State Printing changes its name to Office of State Publishing due to the growth of computer technology and the Internet.
  • 1998, state’s telecommunications network contracted to private sector in order to give state government cost-effective access to the latest technology, while avoiding ownership of obsolete or obsolescent equipment.

  • 1990, California voters approve Proposition 122, a $300 million bond issue to provide funds for "the reconstruction, seismic retrofitting, repair, replacement, and relocation of state and local government buildings which are unsafe primarily due to earthquake-related dangers." DGS manages the program resulting in seismic retrofits of more than 100 state-owned facilities and release of grants for seismic work on local government buildings.

  • In response to legislative mandates, DGS develops statewide programs to remediate hazardous substances—PCBs and asbestos—found in state facilities, along with working with state agencies to replace their underground petroleum storage tanks.
  • 1997, DGS manages the San Diego Transportation Management Center (TMC) project that integrates Caltrans Traffic Operations, Caltrans Maintenance, and CHP Communications into a single facility; the first of its kind in the state.


  • DGS leads the way in sustainable building design and construction with completion of the state’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified office buildings at the Capitol Area East End Complex.  
  • DGS adds electric-hybrid vehicles to its daily rental fleet.  
  • 2001, a tractor-trailer truck crashes into the south side of the State Capitol. DGS provides immediate damage assessment and oversees repairs and restoration of the building, which were completed in 2002.

  • DGS consolidates ten separate office locations into a single headquarters building in West Sacramento.

  • DGS completes construction of the Lake Natoma Boating Instruction and Safety Center at the Cal State University, Sacramento Aquatics Center in 2001.  The center becomes a world-class rowing competition venue.

  • DGS implements full ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance into all DGS statewide leases covering more than 15 million square feet of office space.

  • DGS oversees construction of the state’s new central cooling and heating plant that serves 23 office buildings including the Capitol in downtown Sacramento. The energy efficient and environmentally sustainable facility earns LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Platinum is the highest possible LEED rating.

  • 2009, DGS completes the consolidation of five California Highway Patrol offices into a single leased facility in Sacramento.

  • Due to changing real estate market conditions, in 2009 DGS initiates an aggressive rent reduction program to negotiate rent reductions in state facilities. As of 2013, the program results in savings of more than $160 million over the remaining terms of the renegotiated leases.

  • 2009, the California Energy Commission awards DGS $25 million from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to create a revolving loan fund for energy efficiency projects in state facilities. As of 2013, loan-funded projects at 68 facilities result in annual energy savings of approximately 30 million kilowatt hours of electricity and about 1 million therms of natural gas, for a fiscal savings of approximately $4 million per year. 
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