The Missouri Senate has submitted a list of projects it thinks the state should fund with $400-million in bonds the legislature authorized last year. One outlines $200-million in projects at state buildings, parks, and the State Capitol.
The most pressing need at the Capitol, according to Senator Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City), is to replace a lead membrane that is failing to stop water from getting to the foundation, or else he said that foundation will continue to deteriorate.
“The whole front of the building, where [the statue of Thomas] Jefferson is, the sally port, the steps, has to be removed, and that lead membrane has to be replaced with a rubber membrane,” Kehoe told the Senate.
$35-million dollars is also proposed for taking over the Department of Transportation building near the Capitol to renovate it into space for workers who are currently in the Capitol, according to Senator Mike Parson (R-Bolivar).
“Whether it be more hearing rooms, whether it be office space, whether it be taking the mezzanines out on the House side that are not even handicapped accessible right now,” said Parson. “Just to try to get the Capitol where you do have room to work in here, and you bring things up to [Americans with Disabilities Act] standards.”
Kehoe said taking over the Transportation Department building could also improve security at the Capitol.
“If we were to acquire the MODOT building and facilitate the tunnel between the MODOT into [the Capitol], we could then make the MODOT building the entryway for folks that come in through here and we could get rid of the in-and-out that’s under the basement. That provides a huge challenge for security right now,” said Kehoe.
A separate resolution details $200-million in bonding for buildings at the state’s colleges, universities, and community colleges. Parson says both of those lists could still be changed before any work begins.
“These are the projects that we in the Senate believe to be the important projects and these are the ones that we recommend having done in the State of Missouri,” said Parson.
The state House must now consider those project lists and will likely propose changes. Then the two chambers could try to work to an agreement on a list of projects.