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Richard Piatt reporting By this time next year, the Governor, Attorney General, State House and Senate will all have new temporary offices.
It's part of the State Capitol Restoration project, which started with the construction of two new buildings.
Those two buildings are the realization of a dream of the Capitol's original architect. He wanted the buildings to co-exist with the Capitol all along. It is necessity which has been the driving force to getting the project this far.
The two new office buildings are being meticulously crafted to match the Capitol building. Tons of granite have been shipped in from Portugal to make up the exterior. Inside, there will be a cafeteria, meeting rooms, office space. But the principal reason for the project is to preserve the Capitol. Down the road, the old building will be retrofitted for earthquake protection.
David Hart/Capitol Architect : " IT'S WORTH DOING. AND I THINK WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO GET BROAD SUPPORT FROM THE PUBLIC, THE LEGISLATURE, THE COMMUNITY SEEMS TO BE SUPPORTIVE OF WHAT WE'RE DOING. "
The budget for the new buildings was approved long before the state's budget problems started. They will cost 40 million dollars, together. Retrofitting the Capitol will cost a total of 200-million dollars. 60-million of that will need to be approved by the 2004 Legislature.
While the Capitol is retrofitted, the House, Senate, Governor and Attorney General will have offices in these buildings. They expect to move back into the old Capitol building in 2007.