State Capitol to Undergo $300 Million Renovation - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

State Capitol to Undergo $300 Million Renovation

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The State Capitol complex is set to undergo $300 million in renovations including a completely new General Assembly building. The State Capitol complex is set to undergo $300 million in renovations including a completely new General Assembly building.
RICHMOND (WRIC) - The State Capitol complex is set to undergo $300 million in renovations including a completely new General Assembly building.

If all goes according to plan, the GA building will be completely torn down in the next few years and replaced with a new one.

The building is a combination of four old buildings that were stitched together in the 1970s and some legislators say the facility was never reliable in the first place.
     
There are signs around the building warning about asbestos in addition to other problems like leaks, poor ventilation and things just falling apart.

Senator Henry Marsh says the fixes are a long time coming.

"I came in here one night and the security guard said you can't get in there," he says. "I said 'what's wrong?' He said, 'electrical fire.' The look on his face was terrifying."
 
The decision to tear down the building and start from scratch comes after years of debate.

Legislators in both parties decided it's more economical in the long run to replace the building rather than fix all of the problems, so they put the funding in the proposed budget.       

Included in that $300 million are repairs to the old city hall, which has a bad roof - a piece of which just fell off into the street.

"If someone had been walking there, it could've injured or fatally injured someone," says Sen. John Watkins.

Construction has already begun across the street at the 9th Street office building, which will eventually become the attorney general's building.

Once that's done, construction on a GA can begin and Senator Watkins says it's not just for lawmakers.

"This building is owned by the public and is used by the public year round."

Once the Attorney General moves into the 9th Street building, that will free up the Pocahontas building down the street which legislators will use when the this building is being torn down.

The estimated time frame for this to start is in 2016 when the GA gets out of session.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond


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