LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas lawmakers are planning a $1.25 million renovation of the state’s House chamber.
The House Management Committee authorized Little Rock architect Gary Clements on Tuesday to seek bids on the project. The work would begin after the 2018 fiscal session, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported .
Project leaders plan to replace the old desks, chairs and carpet in the chamber. Clements said the desks date back to the 1960s, and the chairs and carpet are from the mid-1980s.
“Our goal was to reconstruct the desks as the 1914 design that was never implemented in the House,” he said.
Project leaders also expect to upgrade electrical and voting equipment in time for the 2019 regular session. It would cost about $240,000 to upgrade the voting hardware, including new individual voting switches, integrating with the existing voting software and replacing the current system controls, said David Ward, operations manager for the voting equipment vendor International Roll-Call.
The project will be financed out of the House’s maintenance and operations budget, said Roy Ragland, House chief of staff. He said the House plans to put the project up for bid to contractors next month and to open bids and award a contract in February.
The 2018 fiscal session starts Feb. 12. The contractor would have from April to October to complete the project.