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Texas Capitol Complex Renovation to Create New Civic Space


Texas Facilities Commission Capitol Complex | Image by White Construction Company

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The reconstruction of the Texas Capitol Complex is well underway, as construction of the first phase is almost complete. The work is anticipated to be finished by the fall of this year.

The 2016 Capitol Complex Master Plan is the blueprint for redesigning the Texas State Capitol. As part of this plan, state offices will be relocated to newly constructed buildings, and greater spaces will be made available for civic involvement.

Three distinct phases comprise the master plan. The first will see the completion of two new state office towers, a central utility plant, an underground car park for government workers, and the highly awaited Texas Capitol Mall.

When it is finished, the 3.5-acre mall will span from 11th Street to 26th Street, making it simple to get from the Capitol building grounds to the theater district and the University of Texas. A favorable feature of the layout is that it grants pedestrians easier access to the site’s amenities.

The shopping center will include electric bike charging points, public art, a pocket park, and pathways lined with trees. Additionally, there will be an amphitheater and a big lawn for staged events. To ensure that native plants are used in the landscaping of the shopping center, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center was involved in the excavation phase of the project.

The Capitol layout is also supposed to mitigate the heat island effect in the city, which affects urban cities, causing them to experience higher temperatures than areas outside the city.

Francoise Luca, a spokesman for the Texas Facilities Commission, was quoted in the Austin Monitor as saying that the transformation plan makes it possible to “consolidate state departments into a state-owned building.” This will eliminate the government’s dependence on leases, “saving millions of dollars in annual lease payments.”

Builders made sure to coordinate their efforts with the nearby businesses so that the construction would cause as little disruption as possible.

During the project’s second phase, work will continue to be done on the new state office buildings, in addition to the excavation of additional underground parking. After finishing the second phase, the complex will undergo additional enhancements, extensions, and modifications as part of the third phase.

Luca told the Austin Monitor he hopes all Texans will be proud of the new civic space and that they will visit the Texas State Capitol for business and leisure. “We also see this project as an investment in the future of state government and our employees,” he added.

The Texas Facilities Commission has been working on the project for more than five years. 2016 marked the beginning of planning, while 2018 marked the beginning of construction on the complex.    

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