CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Some five years and nearly $1 million in the making, a new Capitol Complex master plan proposes dramatic changes to the campus over the next 30 years, including six new office buildings, parking lots replaced by three large parking buildings on the perimeter of the grounds, and upgraded utility systems and security.
However, the first phase proposed anticipates less expensive projects over the next five years, including landscaping, security upgrades and initial improvements to campus utilities.
Costs of the phase one projects range from minimal -- including closing off parking spaces adjacent to Buildings 3 and 5 to create 80-foot security setbacks -- to the most expensive initial proposal, construction of seven-story building on Washington Street, east of the current Capitol complex, to house parking, the central chiller plant, complex mailroom and offices and storage space for the division's grounds and maintenance staff.
Administration Secretary Ross Taylor said Tuesday the master plan will provide a roadmap of sorts for future development of the complex.
"What makes this master plan unique from any previous plans is that this plan provides more comprehensive recommendations on facility growth, parking, security, utilities, energy conservation, access and landscaping," he said. "When changes are discussed in the future we will have much more information available at our fingertips as a result of the research conducted to create this plan."
Taylor said funding obviously factors into many proposals in the master plan - the plan does not provide any cost estimates for the large-scale, or outline sources of funding.
However, he said, "Our General Services Division staff is already reviewing this plan in terms of landscaping suggestions."
The plan calls for landscaping improvements to enhance the complex's park-like atmosphere, including adding a green space in the location of the former large fountain adjacent to buildings 5, 6 and 7, which includes the two office towers.
Initial projects recommended also include replacing walkways around the campus, and replacing the central outdoor stage, currently located between the main Capitol and buildings 5, 6 and 7.
"We shared this document with the Governor's Office, legislative leadership, the Capitol Building Commission, Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, and the constitutional officers so everyone can utilize this resource as a guide for potential future changes to the Capitol throughout the next three decades," Taylor said.
The governor's office did not respond Tuesday to questions about possible implementation of recommendations in the master plan.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.