Legislative Campus Modernization

The Legislature directed DES to oversee work for Legislative Campus Modernization (LCM) to address space needs of legislative agencies and critical issues with the Irving R. Newhouse, Joel M. Pritchard and John L. O'Brien buildings. The project will take place over the next six to seven years. View the proviso language found in Section 1111 of the 2021 Capital Budget, SHB 1080.SL here.

The scope of LCM is comprised of a series of subprojects located on different sites on the West Capitol Campus. In general, the first major step for each project is site analysis and design work. These steps include stakeholder engagement as well as technical studies.

We are now publishing the LCM weekly update to keep campus tenants, visitors and local residents up to date on planned LCM construction work and how it impacts the campus.

Subscribe for weekly updates

Latest updates

Sidewalk closure

Crews are replacing a portion of sidewalk along Capitol Way between Sid Snyder Avenue Southwest and 15th Avenue Southwest.


  • Sidewalk on the west side of Capitol Way between Sid Snyder Avenue Southwest and 15th Avenue Southwest is closed 24/7.
  • One west lane of Capitol Way is closed during work hours.

When: March 21 – 29

Alternate Routes:

  • Alternate pedestrian routes are clearly marked.

Columbia Street closure

DES has closed Columbia Street between Sid Snyder Avenue Southwest and 15th Avenue Southwest to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Locations Impacted: There are no campus buildings in the immediate vicinity of Columbia. This stretch of road runs between the Newhouse Building replacement construction site and the former Visitor Center Parking Lot.


Columbia Street closure map showing the area between15th Avenue and Sid Snyder Avenue Southwest that will be closed Aug.1 - Dec. 1, 2023.

Pedestrian bridge closure

The Pedestrian Bridge that connects the East and West Capitol Campus is closed for safety reasons. It will remain close until the Newhouse replacement building that is part of Legislative Campus Modernization (LCM) is complete.

Scope and Impact

Where: Pedestrian Bride over Capitol Way between 14th and 15th Avenue.

When: May 15, 2023
We anticipate reopening the bridge in time for the 2025 legislative session.

Alternate Routes:

  • Pedestrians and cyclists should follow signs on campus that indicate alternative routes for crossing Capitol Way.
  • Crosswalk near the State Archives Building and the Tivoli Fountain.


Map showing detour route to bypass pedestrian bridge closure by routing traffic through the crosswalk on Capitol Way.




Irv Newhouse Building replacement

  • The Irv Newhouse Building replacement is taking shape:
    • The external skeleton is complete.
    • In the coming weeks crews will:
      • Continue installation of mechanical infrastructure.
      • Continue interior framing on multiple levels.
      • Continue hanging weather proofing on the southeast portion of the building.
  • Estimated substantial completion date is November 2024.
  • Final Newhouse State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) environmental review documents have been released.

Joel Pritchard State Library

The Joel Pritchard State Library (Pritchard) Rehabilitation and Expansion Project is entering the active phase.

  • Crews recently erected construction fencing around the jobsite.
  • Tenants are in the process of moving out. All tenants are expected to be out by March 22.
  • Historical pieces are being carefully removed and stored for future use once the project is complete.
  • Internal deconstruction of portions of the building will begin in the coming weeks.
  • Pritchard Building Rehabilitation/Expansion Validation Study was completed in March 2022. View the study here.

John L O'Brien

  • Design work continues on the O’Brien remodel project.
  • Program validation for O’Brien is complete.


LCM project timeline graphic




Click to enlarge.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I stay up to date on Legislative Campus Modernization (LCM) projects?

LCM produces a weekly update that outlines accomplishments and upcoming work on all projects. Subscribe to receive these Weekly Updates.

Why were the press houses (Carlyon House and Ayer House) removed?

The press houses were demolished to make room for DES to prepare the site to accommodate the construction of the Irv Newhouse Building replacement.

Why was the LCM predesign done, and how were its goals determined?

DES was directed to conduct the Legislative Campus Modernization predesign by the Legislature (ESSB 6248, Section 1027, Chapter 356, Laws of 2020 and ESSB 6095, Section 1035, Chapter 298, Laws of 2018). These legislative provisos identify the goals for the predesign, and appropriate funding for the predesign.

What does the LCM predesign identify for further study?

The Legislative Campus Modernization predesign examines options to replace the Irving R. Newhouse Building, replace or renovate the Joel M. Pritchard Building, and to renovate the third and fourth floors of the John L. O'Brien Building. It examines options to address life-safety concerns as well as issues with safety and security and failing operational systems. The analysis also includes options to maintain or increase the parking capacity of the Capitol Campus, meet net zero energy ready standards and an energy use intensity (EUI) of less than 35, and provide temporary office space during construction.

In addition to providing an alternatives analysis, the LCM predesign identifies design considerations that will require further investigation and analysis. In general, these include:

  • Traffic, including a City of Olympia proposal to install a roundabout at the intersection of Capitol Way South, 14th Avenue Southeast and Sid Snyder Avenue Southwest as well as possible vacation of Columbia Street Southwest
  • Development of a Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) mitigation plan regarding historic structures and items
  • Parking needs
  • Onsite solar options
  • Further geotechnical analysis
  • Significant trees
  • Site survey information regarding the visitor center
  • Needs and timing regarding temporary facilities

The LCM predesign builds on a number of planning resources, like the 2017 State Capitol Development Study, which supplement the 2006 Master Plan. Learn more about the State Capitol Master Plan and supplemental planning resources here.

What are the issues with existing buildings?

Irv Newhouse Building

  • The Irv Newhouse Building was built as a temporary structure in 1934, and needs to be replaced. Maintaining the building and troubleshooting problems with water leaks, a failing foundation, and a troublesome heat system has become increasingly expensive and challenging over the past two decades.
  • Structural systems did not meet current code. Inadequate masonry anchorage created a safety hazard from falling brick at building exits.
  • The building exterior did not meet current energy codes. It allowed rainwater to leak into the building. Water infiltrated exterior walls creates a life safety issue for electrical wiring and devices.
  • Mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems did not meet current code.

Joel M Pritchard State Library

  • The Joel M Pritchard State Library was completed in 1958. The 2017 State Capitol Development Study indicated that the facility has significant functional, health and life safety hazards that must be addressed. More than 60 percent of the building was constructed for book storage and cannot be used for office space. This portion of the building is vacant.
  • Proximity to a steep and unstable slope, challenging soil properties, and an inadequate lateral resistance system, which increases the risk of failure during a seismic event resulting in a public safety concern.

John L. O'Brien Building

  • The O'Brien Building was constructed in 1940, and comprehensively renovated in 2014.
  • The interior design and locations of legislative assistant workstations leads to overcrowding when constituents visit their representatives during session, which compromises access, security and privacy.
  • There is demand for additional hearing space, caucus rooms, space for interns and additional session staff, and storage space to support legislative functions of state government.

More Information

For more information, contact: DESLCM@des.wa.gov

If you need an accessible version of the Legislative Campus Modernization (LCM) Predesign Report, please contact accessibility@des.wa.gov at (360) 407-8200.

Subproject Information

Irving R. Newhouse Building Replacement project

Joel M. Pritchard Library project

Special Announcements

Find LCM public meeting information here

Find LCM SEPA review information here