By Dave Dahl
SPRINGFIELD – Coming to work to supervise a $240 million renovation of the north wing of the state Capitol is quite a rush for Andrea Aggertt.
“It is a pretty overwhelming feeling to be in charge of such an historic renovation … it’s great. Speechless. Daily,” said Aggertt, director of the Office of the Architect of the Capitol.
Why pump so much money into the Capitol, finished in 1888?
“This is really the statehouse of the people of Illinois. This is for every single visitor, every single resident of Illinois,” said Aggertt. “We have one of the coolest Capitol buildings in the fifty states.”
As for the timeline of some of the main features, “the Senate can be back in its chamber in January of 2025, and the underground conference center and the new entrance will be (open) in August of 2025.”
That new entrance is going to be underground as well. That way, unlike the current arrangement, people coming into the building will already have been through a security screening. Safety, historical accuracy, and disability access are among the reasons for the big project.
Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected]