When the new $90 million Senate office building was approved by the House and Senate last year, the expectation was that all 67 Senators and their staff would be housed in the new building. Today, Senate Republicans released the latest Capitol blueprints obtained from the Department of Administration and they appear to give almost 20 Senators duplicate offices at the Capitol.
Senator Carla Nelson, a member of the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board, originally raised this concern back in October with a letter to the commissioner of the Department of Administration.
“I have seen the plans for the Senate office building and they do in fact call for 67 Senate offices. Which brings me to my question… What is the revised use for the Capitol space that had previously been designated for 23 Senate offices? …I look forward to seeing the revised Capitol restoration plan as soon as possible.”
Until today, the public was unaware that a revised plan was being considered, and it still hasn’t been made easily available to the public. In a meeting this morning, one of the architects claimed that making the Capitol blueprints public would be too costly. That statement raised eyebrows among observers.
Senate Republican Leader David Hann once again questioned the need to build the new Senate Office Building and criticized the proposed plans for having two offices for so many Senators.
“These plans were created after the House and Senate Rules Committee agreed all 67 Senators would have their offices in the new building. This tells me they had no intention of honoring that agreement.”
In an effort to create transparency around the Capitol restoration project, the Capitol blueprints obtained by Senate Republicans have been published below. Click on each image to see an enlarged copy.