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Construction work is advancing on schedule on the former Donovan State Office Building, as most of the exterior brick and glass facade for the new One Canalside is completed, and the offices and other rooms are now framed for the Phillips Lytle LLP law firm.

A recent tour of the building found the basic structure of the eight-story building’s top four floors, where the law firm will be, is now set up, while the four lower floors, which will house a Courtyard by Marriott hotel, remains more open.

The first floor will be divided in thirds for the hotel lobby, the vestibule for Phillips Lytle, and some space in the northwest portion that is still available. The hotel’s fitness center and pool, along with a lounge, conference facilities and a library area, will be in the basement.

Plans call for the office space at least to be completed by yearend, when the law firm must move out of its current space at the One HSBC Center tower nearby. The hotel is expected to be completed in 2014. A two-level parking ramp underneath the building will be built on the north side.

“We’re just really looking forward to seeing the project completed,” said Phillips Lytle managing partner David McNamara. “It’s just really exciting to have a clean slate, efficient layout and all the flexibility the space is going to provide for us.”

Electrical work is underway, while workers are building the loading dock from the driveway entrance off Washington Street. New mechanical systems, plumbing and a sprinkler system, along with elevator upgrades, are also planned.

“It’s a pretty remarkable job, integrating all of the new into the old,” McNamara said.

So far, the 7th floor is the most complete, followed by the 6th floor, as workers progress down from the eighth floor. The 8th floor will house the law firm’s reception and waiting area, executive offices, board room and all seven conference rooms that are now scattered on multiple floors of the HSBC tower. There will also be a wraparound balcony overlooking the canals on Canalside just outside the main conference room.

“A lot of people were regretful of the views we’ll be losing in our old space, but the views here are pretty nice,” McNamara said, as he gestured out the windows.

Each floor of office space will have a multipurpose room, with a kitchenette, desks, work areas and a mini-library of relevant books for practice areas housed on that floor. It also will have a “congregating” or “collaboration” area right off the elevators, where lawyers can gather to discuss issues and work together, while using computers and display screens to access documents as needed.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com