Get the Daily News Digest in your inbox each morning. Sign Up

Bronner: New State House will cost $325M

The cost estimate on a new State House is about $325 million, Retirement Systems of Alabama chief David Bronner said on Tuesday.

“The hole is already dug, we’re ready, I’m moving,” Bronner said at a Teachers’ Retirement System board meeting. Concrete will be at the site next month.

That estimated price does not include the cost of demolishing the current State House, creating green space in its place and building a parking deck nearby.

“My deal with the Legislature was that, okay, I’ll build your building, but I don’t want to get into all your stuff that I think I’ll be dead as a doornail by the time you get to it because it just exaggerates the cost of the transaction,” Bronner, RSA’s leader for more than 50 years, said. 

“I said I’m not having anything to do with that — nothing, nothing, nothing.”

Bronner is leaving some wiggle room on the cost, allowing up to $350 million, but said his target is $300 million to $325 million.

At this point, the project will move forward unless the Legislative Council, the committee of lawmakers that oversees the State House, backs out. 

Last month, Legislative Council vice-chairman Chris Pringle, Speaker Pro Tem of the House, told ADN he expects the entire project to cost about $450 million. 

On Tuesday, Pringle said the council will now have to get bids on the parking deck, demolition and creation of a park-like space where the current building sits.

“If we can make the other stuff work out, it’ll be a go,” he said about the new building. “It’s going to happen fast.” 

Council Chairman Sen. Sam Givhan, R-Huntsville, said Tuesday he couldn’t speak for the entire body, but he’s comfortable with the $325 million number.

In late September, legislative officials signed an agreement with the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which has built several of the largest office buildings in Montgomery and elsewhere, to move forward with building plans. The Legislature could lease the building with an option to buy it. The retirement system wants an 8% return on its investment.

It’s still unknown what the Legislature’s monthly or annual payment obligation for the new space will be.

Late last year, the council approved a resolution directing staff to begin discussions about a new site. In the spring, lawmakers were given control of the city block, currently a parking lot for state employees, directly behind the existing State House as the potential site for a new building.

The Legislature has met at the current eight-story former Alabama Department of Transportation headquarters for nearly 40 years. The building’s mold, heating, air and electrical issues, and access problems for the public, have been well documented.

State House leaders have said they’d like to be in the new building by early 2027.

Get the Daily News Digest in your inbox each morning.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Web Development By Infomedia