Capitol Learning Center Proposed for State Capitol
As the Capitol building continues its remodeling process – improving structural architecture and efficiency per the Capitol Preservation Master Plan outlined in 1987 – a third phase planning addition has been proposed that would bring new educational resources to the structure.
The final phase of the Master Plan, which includes a full restoration of Capital Square and the revitalization of the original design for the West lawn, could now include the creation of the Capital Learning Center (CLC): an underground facility for educational purposes and to provide space where the public and state officials may interact.
One major hurdle stands in the way, however, as the project must be completed prior to additional planned. After years of leaks and damage to the Capitol’s historic interior, the Michigan State Capitol Commission has undertaken a multimillion-dollar infrastructure upgrade; a new geothermal field, containing over 220 wells, will be installed. This new system will be fiscally smart, sustainable and will secure the Capitol’s energy-efficient future for many decades to come.
Today, the Capitol stands at a critical crossroads. Only now, before the geothermal field is installed, is there a chance to complete the Capitol’s restoration and build an underground CLC which, when combined with the infrastructure upgrade, will save more than $10 million.
The addition of the CLC will create jobs, increase tourism and provide a safer, expanded educational environment for over 115,000 Michigan school children who visit the Capitol each year. Estimates show that up to 100,000 more people will visit the Capitol annually, creating both short- and long-term jobs for Michigan residents. The CLC could be a catalyst for tourism and economic growth for the state, according to the Michigan State Capitol Commission.
For more information on the proposed Capitol Learning Center, visit http://capitol.michigan.gov/.
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Kristopher Johnson is a Communications Specialist at M3 Group, earning his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. While currently residing in Lansing, Kristopher will always be a native of Detroit. He enjoys volunteering, listening to others and musing over contrasting insights. He is also fond of writing, keeping up with politics and watching too much story-driven anime.