Sen. Chuck Winder (center) and Idaho Legislative Services Director Jeff Youtz (right, clapping) oversee the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Capitol Mall Garage No. 2.
A new garage for legislative services, staff and the public officially opened today. Readers first learned about Capitol Garage No. 2 in April 2013, when the Idaho House voted to bypass
city of Boise construction rules to build a 500-space, $8,394,012 parking garage.
The 78,000-square-foot garage was built on the former location of the Knudsen House and another historic building. The Knudsen House was relocated
, and the second structure was demolished.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, outgoing Director of Legislative Services Jeff Youtz said that the capitol complex had needed a new parking structure for years and just months ahead of his retirement, the conditions were ripe for the project.
"It's all a matter of timing and the planets aligning to get something done," Youtz said. "We couldn't think of a reason not to do it."
The votes in the legislature to build the structure, against the wishes of the city of Boise and Preservation Idaho
, were nearly unanimous: no dissenting votes in the Senate, three dissenting votes in the House. According to State Sen. Chuck Winder, who attended the ribbon cutting, the garage will provide parking for legislative staff as well as the public.
"People wanted to participate in the public process, but there was no parking," he said. "This was a no-brainer."