Michigan set to build a $40M visitor center at state Capitol

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FILE- In a Dec. 12, 2012 file photo, the state capitol building is seen in Lansing, Mich. Braced for a new era of divided government, lame-duck Republicans who have long controlled two upper Midwest states are priming last-ditch laws to advance their conservative agenda or to weaken the influence of Democratic governors-elect. The moves, which may spark lawsuits if they come to pass, would follow midterm elections in which Democrats swept statewide offices in Michigan and Wisconsin for the first time in decades but fell short of taking over gerrymandered legislatures(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, FILE)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A state commission has approved a slimmed down project to build a $40 million welcome center on the lawn of the Michigan statehouse that will boast adjustable space for meetings and catered events.

The Lansing State Journal reports that the Michigan State Capitol Commission agreed Monday to move forward with the underground Heritage Hall project with money appropriated in the lame duck session at the end of 2018. The initial cost estimate was $55 million, but $15 million of that didn’t make it through this fall’s budget season.

Heritage Hall will be one level, lit partially with a sunroof and linked to the Capitol by elevator. Its meeting spaces will be configured so they can be separated into smaller rooms.

Michigan legislative officials say construction will take about 18 months.

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