Missouri lawmakers are discussing how best to utilize space in and around the Capitol.
The Joint Committee on Legislative Research took a tour Tuesday of the Capitol, and the nearby Department of Transportation building and the historic United States Post Office and Courthouse to look at options for possible office space.
State Representative Kevin Engler is the House chairman of that committee.
“We’re looking at the overall plan for the future of the office space, of meeting space, for the Capitol,” said Engler. “Our functions have changed in the last 20 years and yet our office space is still the same.”
Engler says there are representatives in offices that are not accessible under the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and committees that need more space.
“Committees like budget and appropriations that need a bigger space because they meet so much, and the members need to have some place to put all of their materials,” said Engler. “So, we’re trying to find a permanent home for them.”
A contract was approved in January of this year to demolish areas of the second and third floors of the Post Office in order to make space available for state offices. The state has a long-term lease with the federal government for the upper floors. Work is expected to be completed by May of 2015.
“We’d like to have personnel decisions so that we can put it in the budget in the next four to six weeks,” said Engler. “As far as long term solutions for using the facility, it’s probably going to be six months to a year before we finalize exactly where everybody is going to go.”
The committee will work with the Office of Administration and the governor to determine the use of the space.