California state Capitol annex given legal green light to continue construction

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After the state released a final, court-ordered study of the proposal earlier this month, construction of a new California state Capitol annex, a new visitor’s centre beneath the historic west steps, and an underground parking garage may lawfully commence.

A court battle has put plans for a new annexe on hold since early 2021. The structure, adjacent to the ancient domed Capitol, houses offices for state lawmakers and the governor,

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In December, a Sacramento appellate court decided that the state needed to collect additional public input on components of the project, including a planned glass design for the new annexe.

The court granted demolishion permission for the previous annexe, which occurred earlier this summer. In late 2021, state lawmakers and several government employees relocated to new office premises.

The project has been certified, and “annexe construction is moving forward,” according to a representative for Assemblymember James Ramos (D-Highland). He leads the Legislature’s Joint Rules Committee. The Department of General Services stated in its final environmental report that “no changes to the proposed project” will be made in response to public comments. Furthermore, the plans “remain unchanged, and there are no project changes to assess.”

How much the California State Capitol annex project will cost

The court-ordered assessment addresses public complaints over a new visitor’s centre, focusing on the project’s environmental implications rather than its cost, which is estimated to exceed $1.2 billion.

The new visitor’s centre is beneath the west side of the Capitol as part of the multi-year renovation. The vast majority of tourists, tours, and school groups will enter through a new ramped entry on 10th Street.

Some Sacramento residents have expressed worry that the visitor’s centre will constrict space on the city’s west side. This is where big rallies and other gatherings are common.

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