The Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) released a request for proposal (RFP) Monday seeking architectural services to investigate a 2.5-acre site in Montgomery and design a new state house for the Alabama Legislature.

According to RSA legislative counsel Neah Mitchell Scott, the RSA is working with legislators to explore the construction of the new state house. Scott said that the RSA is involved at the request of the Legislative Council. 

Through RFPs, government entities invite private organizations to offer their services. Organizations submitting proposals must include a budget estimate.

The Alabama Legislature moved out of the capital building in 1985 due to renovations. Even though the move was intended to be temporary, this required a constitutional amendment. The renovations were completed in 1992, yet the legislature has remained in the new building for the past 40 years.

Over the last several years, concerns have risen about the legislature's current home and its ability to house them in the future.

State Rep. Craig Lipscomb (R-Gadsden) told 1819 News in January that a new state house was necessary because the current building was old, had flood and electric issues, and was aesthetically unpleasing. Lipscomb is a registered architect specializing in commercial architecture. 

An engineer report in 2021 suggested the current state house required almost $52 million in repairs.

The RSA owns several real estate properties in the state and even an office building in downtown New York City. It owns several buildings in Montgomery in the vicinity of the capitol complex, including the Alabama Community College System building, the Alabama Center for Commerce building and the RSA Criminal Justice Center (CJC), which houses the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA).

Nevertheless, the Alabama Legislature is responsible for funding the RSA and can pass other legislation that could impact the pension fund. 

1819 News asked the RSA if the pension system intends to own the new state house and if they believe this is potentially a conflict of interest but did not receive a response.

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