Capitol Complex Would Expand

CHARLESTON (AP) – A new master plan for West Virginia’s Capitol Complex proposes six new office buildings, three new parking facilities and more green space to alleviate overcrowding and make the campus more visitor-friendly.

The 30-year plan also includes security recommendations but most have been redacted from the public version.

A legislative building is among the proposed structures. It would house the House of Delegates’ offices and committee rooms, and offices for Legislative Services and Joint Committee staff.

Most of the proposed buildings would be five stories and have underground parking. The first three buildings would be constructed east of the existing complex on Washington Street. The others would be located north of Building 3, north of the Veterans Memorial and on the site of the existing Capitol parking building.

If all six buildings are constructed, they would provide 667,000 square feet of office space accommodating up to 2,668 employees.

According to the plan, more than 1,200 employees occupy existing office space intended for about 750.

Closets, storage rooms and even restrooms have been converted to offices. These spaces weren’t intended for office use and don’t meet life-safety codes.

“After 80 years of partially implemented master planning and independent construction projects, the Capitol Complex is an agglomeration of buildings and landscapes lacking in cohesion or clean identity,” the plan notes.

The plan also states that the complex needs at least 850 additional parking spaces during peak periods, when the campus population rises as high as 12,000 a day during legislative sessions and special events. The typical weekday population is between 3,500 and 5,500 employees and visitors.