Idaho Capitol Restoration Project

Preserving the People’s House

The nine-member Idaho State Capitol Commission was created in 1998 and charged with completing a Master Plan for the restoration/renovation of the State Capitol Building. The Legislature appropriated $120,000 and the design team of CSHQA/Isthmus was competitively selected to develop a Master Plan which was completed in 2000. At that time, the design team estimated the total cost at $64 million.

In 2001, the Legislature provided a one-time appropriation of $32 million and authorized the Commission to issue bonds for the remaining $32 million. However in early 2002 as a result of projected shortfalls in state revenues, the Commission withdrew its request to issue bonds and returned the $32 million appropriation to the State’s General Fund. The restoration project was placed on hold.

Exterior Renovation Accomplished

Despite the delay of the entire project, the Commission was able to see that the exterior envelope of the structure was preserved and restored to protect any further deterioration to the interior structure. Between 2001 and 2002, about $1.5 million was appropriated for the Phase I Exterior Renovation. The following year, the Legislature appropriated nearly $3 million to complete the Phase ll Exterior Renovation. All exterior work was completed in the Spring of 2006.

Funding Source Identified for Interior Work

The 2005 Legislature revived hope for the interior restoration by extending the cigarette tax so that a portion of the revenue collected, beginning in FY07, is deposited into the Permanent Building Fund. The annual amount, estimated at $20 million, is earmarked for the repair, remodel, and restoration of the Capitol and state facilities pertaining to the Capitol restoration.

Interior Restoration and Underground Wings Additions

The 2006 Legislature authorized the Capitol Commission and the Department of Administration to enter into agreements with the Idaho State Building Authority to finance the restoration and underground wings addition to the Capitol Building.