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LANSING – By fall 2017, the Michigan Capitol building could see a new $88 million Welcome Center and a new park on its west lawn in what would be the biggest renovation to the statehouse and grounds in 22 years.
Under the plan announced Tuesday by the Michigan State Capitol Commission, all visitors to the Capitol — there are some 150,000 tourists and schoolchildren who come every year — will enter through the west side of the Capitol off North Walnut Street. They'll enter a new facility that will include a cafeteria, a large committee room, new "education briefing rooms" and enhanced security measures, according to a news release from the commission, which oversees the building.
The parking lot on the statehouse's west side will be moved underground and replaced by a park, as envisioned by the 135-year-old statehouse's architect, Elijah Myers.