Currently, design and an updated schedule for the project are being finalized. The project was anticipated to be completed in advance of the 2019 legislative session and the schedule is being evaluated after value-engineering efforts were employed in the last year to ensure the project is within the contracted budget. The Oversight Group has directed the Program Manager to weigh the need to maintain an aggressive schedule against ensuring design documents are of high quality to safeguard that the project remains in budget as construction proceeds.
- Design on all aspects of the project has advanced significantly following adoption by the Oversight Group of Capitol plans and the Herschler Building south expansion plan.
- The scope is fully developed and the project team continues to press forward on the design process.
The State has invested significantly in design and enabling work for the project, spending almost $32 million through the end of 2015. With a fully developed scope, the project is poised to launch into full-blown construction. The Capitol and half of the Herschler Building have been vacated and the Capitol is currently undergoing selective demolition and asbestos abatement. There are economic benefits to completing the project during an economic downturn. There are cost increases associated with delay or changes to the project.
The State has undertaken a significant amount of work to prepare for construction slated to begin in the spring of 2016. The costs incurred to date (including design work, moving and temporary space improvements, and pre-construction activities) are sunk costs that cannot be recovered if construction does not proceed.
Moving and Temporary Space Costs
The Capitol is vacant and all occupants have been relocated into remodeled leased space or remodeled State buildings. Half of the staff in the Herschler Building have been relocated into leased space. The costs spent on moving, tenant improvements, leases during the construction, and other related costs total over $16 million. This does not include staff productivity losses incurred during the moving process. Find out about what agencies have moved and where
- The State has moved 560 people out of the Capitol and Herschler Building. Another 236 employees will move from the east wing to the west wing of the Herschler Building.
- Lease contracts have been signed for the full term of the project for four buildings and each of these buildings have been remodeled to accommodate displaced occupants.
- The Jonah Business Center was leased and renovated to accommodate the Legislature.
- The US Bank Building was leased and renovated to accommodate the Secretary of State, the State Auditor and the State Treasurer and their staff.
- Two other buildings in Cheyenne were leased to accommodate employees displaced from the Herschler Building. Other Herschler Building offices were relocated into the State-owned Capitol Hill Building.
- The State-owned Idelman and Kendrick buildings across the street from the Capitol have been renovated to accommodate the Governor’s Office and the Attorney General.
- Early work packages for the Capitol and the Herschler Building have been let in the amount of almost $8 million for pre-construction services provided by the Construction Manager hired for the project.
- Construction trailers have been mobilized on the former St. Mary’s site east of the Capitol.
- A parking lot was created on the Pioneer Avenue site to accommodate parking for State employees displaced from the Herschler underground parking garage during construction.
- All artwork in the Capitol has been removed and placed in storage or protected in place.
- Demolition and asbestos abatement have begun in the Capitol.
Impact of Delays or Changes
The scope of the project is fully developed. There are cost increases associated with delay or changes to the project as it is currently designed. All of the elements of the project are critical to restore the 125-year-old Capitol. If the scope of the project is changed, the State will not be able to achieve the goals of the project.
Construction Cost Inflation
As is true with any construction project, escalation in construction costs is a reality. Protection against inflation is already built into the budget for the project and is protected by the Construction Cost Limitation. If the project is delayed, inflationary impacts could require additional appropriations.
- Construction costs in Wyoming have been increasing at approximately five to six percent each year.
- On a project of this magnitude, inflationary costs could total $12 million per year if construction is delayed.
Consequences of Changing Project Scope
In the law governing the project, the Legislature included the remodel and expansion of the Herschler Building, remodel of the connecting tunnel, and replacement of the central utility plant in the project because these assets are needed to increase public space and address life safety and building system deficiencies in the Capitol. It is a very complex design because all of the components are interconnected. Any significant change in the scope will incur additional design costs and project delays, resulting in increased construction costs due to inflation.
- The current design provides vertical building system cores that displace staff from the building. These cores would need to be completely redesigned if additional space outside the Capitol is not provided in the project.
- Expansion of the Herschler Building is needed to house the elected officials’ staff who will be displaced from the Capitol, along with legislative committee chairmen, and legislative staff displaced from the Capitol.
- Remodeling and expansion of the below-grade Capitol Extension is necessary to create larger public meeting rooms and other public services.
- If the Herschler Building atrium is not removed, the floor of the atrium will need to be leveled off and raised approximately three feet to accommodate the auditorium located in the Capitol Extension below.
- Replacement of the CUP addresses longstanding building system deficiencies in the Capitol and the other four buildings it feeds in the Capitol Complex.
- Work needs to be completed in the first and fourth floors of the east wing of the Herschler Building to house mechanical and electrical equipment for the project.