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Senate Rules Committee approves alternative legislative building plan

A rendering of the proposed legislative office building. (Image courtesy of Minnesota Department of Administration)
An alternative building plan for housing the state’s senators passed its final hurdle on Monday with an 8-5 vote by the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.

The building will house the state’s 67 senators and their staff. The original building proposal pitched last fall cost more than $93 million and would have housed only 44 of the 67 senators. The new plan’s cost is $89.6 million, but includes user-financed parking, bringing the total cost down to $76.7 million.

On Friday, the House Rules and Legislative Administration Committee passed the alternative building plan in a 14-13 vote. Now that it has passed in the Senate, the plan for the new legislative office building will move forward, with an expected construction start date of July 1, 2014.

According to the current timeline, construction would be completed in November 2015.

The newly-approved plan includes key changes from the original plan, including:

  • delay of construction of Parking Lot C, which reduces the cost of the project by $13.6 million;
  • user-financing of Parking Lot B, which reduces the cost of the project by $12.8 million;
  • removal of amenities from the original design such as a reflecting pool and fitness center; and
  • adjustments to the building's facade to make it more modest.

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