After seven long weeks, the Wyoming Legislature is all moved out of the Capitol.  Legislative sessions will resume at the Jonah Business Center in Cheyenne beginning with the 2016 Budget Session, which starts Feb. 8.

All furniture from the Senate and House Chambers has been relocated during the renovation of the Capitol and Herschler Building.  The process began in late July and concluded on Monday as the final legislative composites and black and white prints were moved.  Although the Capitol building has been completely cleared in an effort to reduce costs and disruptions, the west side of the Herschler Building will remain occupied while the east side is renovated first.

Governor Mead and some legislative leaders say that the restoration project should also include the recreation of a grand room that originally housed the Wyoming Supreme Court.  The Capitol Building Oversight Group voted on Monday in Cheyenne to endorse restoring the original courtroom space.  It most recently held Legislative Service Office staff, and is divided into two levels on the second and third floors.

The restoration process has been methodical so far. Early investigative work in various parts of the Capitol revealed historic paint and arches beneath the current interior.  Some wood paneling was removed to examine the structure beneath, in an effort to gain a more complete understanding of how to incorporate electrical systems during the renovation without causing damage.

Several agencies have already completed their temporary relocations.  The Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety, The Wyoming Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, and The Wyoming Real Estate Commission are just a few of the groups that have set up shop in new places.  The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services opened earlier today at their new location, 614 S. Greeley Highway in Cheyenne.

Construction could begin as early as the spring, and will probably last through most of 2018.  The entire Capitol Restoration Project is estimated to cost $300 million.