Missouri Making Plans for Renovation of State Capitol

By on October 11, 2018

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  With nearly $30 million in renovations already underway on the exterior of the Missouri Capitol, a panel of state officials is now turning to what could be an expensive and long-lasting makeover of the interior of the century-old building.

But the long-sought renovation of the centerpiece of Missouri government continues to face a number of hurdles, ranging from the potential cost to how long the project will take. And, there are unanswered questions about where lawmakers and their aides will go when their offices are being torn apart and rebuilt.

In a meeting Tuesday, a consultant hired to map out a series of upgrades and historic fixes told state officials he wouldn’t have cost estimates until the end of December.

And the work could take as long as seven years if it is phased in and not done in one fell swoop, said David Hart, executive vice president of Salt Lake City-based MOCA.

When mention of that time span raised eyebrows among members of the Missouri Capitol Commission, Hart said, “I don’t want to sound rude, but you just have to put up with it.”

State officials have been mulling an overhaul of the offices, hearing rooms and marble-lined corridors that make up the nearly 500,000-square-foot building for more than a decade.

In recent years, officials were considering a $35 million plan to turn the nearby Missouri Department of Transportation headquarters into an annex of the Capitol, connected via a tunnel.

The move would have freed up space in the crowded first floor offices to allow workers to remove mezzanines that house freshman and minority party legislators but are inaccessible to constituents who cannot climb stairs.

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