State Capitol renovation triggers office moves

Workers are installing protective coverings inside the Capitol rotunda. Tim Pugmire/MPR News
There’s another big office switch underway inside the Minnesota Capitol, but this time state lawmakers  have been forced to move by building repairs, not election results.

Renovation work on the inside and outside of the historic Capitol will be in full swing this summer. Crews have already been emptying the east wing of the building, displacing the Senators and staff who had offices there, and installing protective coverings inside the rotunda.

Nonpartisan staff, along with some Senate DFL researchers, will move to the Centennial Office Building. Other Senate employees are heading up the street to a privately-owned office building. Several DFL Senators are moving into former staff offices, conference rooms or are sharing space with their colleagues.

Movers are relocating some DFL Senators into former staff offices. Tim Pugmire/MPR News

“It’s huge,” said Vic Thorstenson, project manager for the DFL majority caucus. “We have a long list of the sequential office moves.”

It will also mean big changes for the 2015 legislative session, which begins in January. In addition to the cramped quarters, Thorstenson pointed out that three hearing rooms and some public restrooms will be out of service.

The governor’s office is also relocating this month to the Veterans Service Building.  The Capitol renovation is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2017 session.