By Doug Farquhar
Alabama was thinking about a new building for the legislature, now they may be forced to build one.
The Alabama State House, where the legislature meets, sits across the street from the State Capitol. The State House building was built in 1963, originally designed for the highway department. But when the legislature needed more space, they converted the building to house the legislature.
The building never adequately met the needs of the legislature. The rooms were too small, the public had difficulty attending meetings and it lacked modern conveniences. So a new building was in order, once financing, a design and a location was sorted out.
Mother Nature sped up that process. A flood in early May brought four feet of water into the building, forcing the legislature out. Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is visiting, doing an inspection to see if the building suffers from sick building syndrome. The EPA could condemn the site.
Either way, the legislature is destined to get a new building, one that will meet the needs of the state for years.