|Idaho Statehouse reconstruction/YouTube|
There was some concern, expressed publicly during the last legislative session, that the reconstruction work at the Idaho Statehouse might not be done in time for the next session. But evidently it is, or just about.
A press release from the state Capitol Commission says that "Capitol restoration construction managers presented the Idaho State Capitol Commission with their certificate of Substantial Completion today after commissioners completed a walk-through inspection. The 30-month, $120 million project is on schedule to accommodate the 2010 legislative session in the restored and expanded building."
Doors open on January 9; the last of the construction work, and then move-in, will likely continue until just about then (and maybe a little past).
It's been a longish haul, but not much different than in recent statehouse work in Olympia and Salem; it does take a while. And the offices have managed reasonably well in their locations nearby, though the people in them will no doubt be delighted to move out of the cramped annex and Borah building.
There's been one disquieting note in recent days, about proposals by commission members to more sharply limit displays in the Statehouse (notably the long-running and widely-enjoyed Buy Idaho display, which traditionally have spread to three or four floors). A suggestion: Commissioners may find that pleasure in the end result of this project will relate to how open the building is. The Idaho Statehouse has a tradition of bring a building broadly open to the public, and that is one thing about it that ought to change as little as possible.