MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — After years of utilizing the State House, Alabama lawmakers agreed to sign a contract with the Retirement System of Alabama (RSA) to rebuild a new state house.
Legislatures say the building was built in 1963 and has faced flooding, issues with heating and cooling, as well as keeping the elevator parts up to date.
“This building has tremendous problems. It is not functional,” Alabama Senator Samuel Givhan said. “I think it’s important to make a good presentation for the state of Alabama and to make the committee rooms accessible.”
Lawmakers gathered at the State House Tuesday to talk about the contract and the efforts to rebuild. Stating the Legislative Council has been in talks with RSA since April 2023 and RSA has agreed to construct the building and lease it to the Legislative Council.
According to Givhan, the council can terminate the contract with RSA prior to reaching the design phase of the project.
“We’re going to have a fairly decent estimate, figure out how many square feet we’ve got. What are we going to put in it and what that cost is going to be,” Givhan said.
The new building will be located behind the current State House building in the capital complex and will provide new office spaces for legislatures to meet.
“The only thing that’s prohibitive about it is to cost of buildings have become so high now that they’re getting some push back and that’s why they’ve been a little reluctant to say what the price tag has been,” CBS 42 Political Analyst Steve Flowers said.
Flowers said the current cost to rebuild has not been released. With the proposal in the beginning stages, it could take years before construction begins.
“I think they realized that this building here is outdated, and it’s been hard to keep up and to make it workable would probably cost as much to build, to fix it as it would be to build a new one,” Flowers said.