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Timing questions on State House construction, demolition

Construction on a new State House is in the early phase and legislative leadership plans to be in the new building by early 2027 for the Legislature’s organizational session following the 2026 elections.

The new building will be on a city-block size plot directly behind the existing State House. Eventually, the current building will be razed and green space will be created in its place. But how that timing will work out was still nebulous.

Alabama Daily News recently asked Othni Lathram, one of the point men on the project, what the transition from the old to the new will look like and whether lawmakers and staff could be homeless at any point.

“I’m a little more concerned about the opposite,” Lathram said. “ … What concerns me more is that if we don’t get this building torn down, by the start of that organizational, it’s going to be hard to tear this building down with a session going on in the new building. I’m a little bit more concerned that this building lives six months longer than it should as opposed to getting torn down prematurely.”

The Legislative Council, which owns the State House and for which Lathram is the secretary, is still navigating timelines, he said.

The Retirement Systems of Alabama is building the new State House and the Legislature will lease it. It’s expected to cost about $300 million and RSA will get an 8% return. Separately, the Legislature will build a new parking deck underground and with about 500 spaces near the Folsom Administrative Building — that area is currently a staff parking lot —  and the green space.

A smaller parking deck will be included in the new State House, but that will only be large enough for members and a few staffers.

The council earlier this month was told construction on the new State House is expected to be complete by the end of 2025. However, when considering the installation of IT equipment, security measures, furnishings and more, lawmakers aren’t expected to move into the building until January of 2027.

“Our goal is to stay in this building until we are functional in the new building,” Lathram said.

He hopes demolition on the old State House is well underway prior to that 2027 organizational session.

Depending on the construction timelines, parking could still be a challenge in early 2027, Lathram said.








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