The Capitol Extension connects the Capitol and Herschler Building underground. The expansion of the existing tunnel will extend under the Herschler Building almost to 26th Street. It is ideally located to accommodate many of the identified public needs and functions that are displaced from the Capitol. Public meeting rooms, a student learning center, a media center, and other public services will be added. In addition, the roof of the tunnel has significant deterioration and is in need of replacement, creating the opportunity to light the space with sky lights.
Public Meeting Rooms
Six large public meeting rooms will be located on the south end of the Capitol Extension.
- Four of the meeting rooms will seat 75 members of the public, plus committee members and staff.
- Two of the meeting rooms will seat 100 members of the public, plus committee members and staff.
- An auditorium seating 200 to 300 people is planned for the north end of the Capitol Extension.
- Conference rooms and a catering kitchen can be reserved for public use.
Student Learning Center
A large Student Learning Center will be located on the north end of the Capitol Extension and will serve as a classroom for Wyoming school students who travel to the Capitol.
- Wyoming history is taught to all fourth grade classes and this room will be designed around tours and lesson plans provided as part of their introduction to government.
- In addition, many middle school and high school students tour the Capitol to learn about Wyoming state government and civics and this classroom will provide resources for these age groups, as well.
Social Studies Content Standards
The Oversight Group commissioned an interpretive design firm to develop schematic design interpretive materials to augment visitor tours to the Capitol. The report identified strategies to incorporate Wyoming’s social studies content and performance standards into the Learning Center and associated tour of the Capitol. Funding is currently not included in the project to implement the interpretive plan recommendations, but when the interpretive elements are funded, the Learning Center will include physical and multimedia exhibits focusing on Wyoming civics and political history, and the Capitol’s architecture.
School Bus Drop-Off Lane
Currently, school buses drop children off on busy Capitol Avenue. The school bus drop-off will be relocated on the north side of the Herschler Building in the existing driveway off 26th Street. Students will enter the Capitol Extension and the Student Learning Center from this location. The bus drop-off lane will provide a safer environment for loading and unloading than on-street parking.
Other Public Services
The existing below-grade tunnel is approximately 28,000 gross square feet. The space that is currently used as a conference room (Herschler B-63) and the terraced area of the atrium will add about 29,000 square feet to the Capitol Extension and 11,000 square feet from the existing CUP location will also be converted to useable space.
- Additional public restrooms will be added in the Capitol Extension.
- Informal seating areas will be included for constituents to meet with policymakers. Many discussions happen in informal settings between formal meetings. These brief meetings are important to the political process and provide a significant opportunity for public interaction with elected leaders.
Print and Broadcast Media Center
Dedicated space has been set aside in the Capitol Extension for print and broadcast media.
- These rooms will be connected to all public meeting rooms and the House and Senate Chambers in order to provide modern telecommunication access to legislative and executive branch proceedings.
- Cable management to remote satellite trucks is planned for this space.
Visitor Center and Interpretive Exhibits
The Capitol is one of the largest tourist attractions in southeast Wyoming. The current design calls for the expansion of the interpretative plan to include displays in both the Capitol and the Capitol Extension. Formal tours will begin at the north end of the Capitol Extension to engage visitors in displays in this location.
- A Visitor Center will be located in the Capitol Extension and the drop-off location for tour buses will be in the driveway on the north side of the Herschler Building off 26th Street.
- Exhibits are planned throughout the space to highlight citizen participation in government, Wyoming history, and building architecture.
- After touring other states that have successfully restored their Capitols, the Oversight Group requested the addition of interpretive exhibits so visitors will understand the history of Wyoming’s government, the importance of the state’s democratic process, and the architectural and cultural significance of the Capitol.