About our Restoration and Addition Project

Capitol Restoration FAQs

Question:
Can you explain a little more about the funding for the two expansion wings?

Answer:
The 2005 Legislature extended the cigarette tax so that a portion of the revenue collected is deposited into the Permanent Building Fund. The annual amount, estimated at $20 million, is earmarked for the repair, remodel, and restoration of the Capitol and State facilities pertaining to the Capitol Restoration. The 2006 Legislature authorized the Capitol Commission and Department of Administration to enter into agreements with the Idaho State Building Authority (ISBA) to finance the restoration and the underground wings addition to the Capitol building. The ISBA secured $130 million for this purpose. Annual bond payments are made with revenues from the cigarette tax.


Question:
When the Capitol is renovated, will that include rearranging office space, increasing the number of committee rooms, improving the electronic audiovisual capacity of the committee rooms, or increasing the size of capacity of either of the Legislative chambers?

Answer:
Final office space after the renovation is yet to be completely determined. The number of committee rooms will increase: five in the west wing addition including a large 200-seat auditorium and five in the east wing addition. Each new garden-level conference room significantly upgrades the size and convenience of each fourth-floor conference room it replaces. All existing hearing rooms in the Capitol will be converted to conference rooms or office areas. Part of the restoration includes the upgrade of all electronic, audiovisual, and digital recording capabilities. The size and capacity of the Legislative chambers will not change.


Question:
I understand that the east and west porticos will be removed during the restoration. Will they return?

Answer:
Early in the construction phase, the monumental stairs were to be removed, the surrounding sandstone support walls were to be carefully dismantled, and the restoration contractor was to number and store the stones and reinstall them in exactly the same order. However, the restoration contractor has devised a way to retain and protect the stairs during construction.


Question:
Will the renovation include wiring and equipment to allow Legislative staff and others to view Legislative proceedings from the new wings?

Answer:
Audiovisual equipment will be installed in the new wings for broadcast capabilities. It has not been determined if the equipment will be used for live broadcasting.


Question:
Will you be removing trees from the Capitol grounds to complete the garden-level wings additions?

Answer:
Yes, the wing design does not allow for any deep-rooted flora like trees and shrubs. Only those trees that were above the footprint of our expansion efforts are subject to removal. The younger trees were replanted in other public places within the Capitol Mall. The commission announced a process for experienced woodworkers to apply for small portions of harvested wood from the few trees that are too big for safe transplantation.


Question:
Will any streets close during the Capitol restoration or expansion?

Answer:
The surrounding streets will most likely be closed for short periods at some point during phases of the restoration/expansion. Please check back on our website for updates.


Question:
If I visit the Capitol Mall area, where can I park?

Answer:
Our Capitol Mall visitor lots are located at 450 North 4th Street and at the corner of 6th and Washington Streets. For additional information, see http://adm.idaho.gov/pubworks/facilities/parking/.


Question:
During the restoration, can I observe a daily floor session?

Answer:
Beginning with the 2008 Legislative session, Idaho Public TV has stationed cameras inside the temporary House and Senate chambers (which are transformed from county court rooms). You can watch a large-screen simulcast of either chamber in a public viewing area inside the courthouse, live sessions using streaming internet video at Legislature Live, and the program Gavel-to-Gavel (C-Span-like coverage of the House and Senate proceedings) on two of IPTVs digital channels (subchannel 3-Learn and subchannel 4-Citizen).


Question:
During the restoration, can I observe a committee meeting?

Answer:
Committee meeting space allows for some limited public seating. Major committees might have an audio broadcast available.

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      Meeting dates, times, and locations are subject to change.