While this is expected to be the final week of the 2001 Iowa Legislature, lawmakers will return to Des Moines in June for a “special session” to consider a second plan for realigning legislative and congressional districts. That “special session” might not occur in the statehouse, however. Mark Willemssen, the General Assembly’s facilities manager, had planned to take all the furniture out of the House.The House floor will be totally removed and the original electrical and telephone wiring will be ripped out and replaced. In the Senate, the plan is to restore the ornate ceiling.Willemssen says they’ll install a sprinkler system, fix the decorative lighting and chandeliers, and restore the murals.If the “special session” goes longer than a day, Willemssen says the House and Senate will have to find somewhere else to meet, perhaps another state office building. He says they’ve talked about using auditoriums in other buildings, depending on how long the session may last.For the past 20 years, workers have been slowly renovating the statehouse, inside and out.
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