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Louisiana bill would give state building to Shreveport agency, progress on Waggoner Building

Makenzie Boucher
Shreveport Times

Update: The original version of this story has been updated to reflect a change: According to HB 773, the transfer from the state SIRA will be for “consideration proportionate to the appraised value of the property."

The former Federal Courthouse and Office Building at 500 Fannin Street commonly known as the Waggoner Building will soon get a new lease on life after Rep. Cedric B. Glover and Sen. Robert Mills forged a region-wide coalition to revamp this downtown Shreveport problem. 

House Bill 773, which was passed in the House would transfer its current office building to the Shreveport Implementation and Redevelopment Authority. This would give control of the state building to a local government agency as part of a plan to consolidate state workers into the downtown building. 

The bill would lead the state to transfer its current office building to the Shreveport Implementation and Redevelopment Authority. According to HB 773, the transfer from the state SIRA will be for “consideration proportionate to the appraised value of the property."

The Senate committee is scheduled to vote on this bill this week.  

Designers for both the demolition phase and construction phase are being selected Wednesday, July 20, at the Architect Selection Board Meeting.

This state-of-the-art revamp is estimated to cost approximately $70 million, with a complete stripping of the building. 

The building located at 500 Fannin Street, commonly called the Waggonner Bldg., in downtown Shreveport on April 20, 2022.

More:Louisiana to buy downtown Shreveport office building. Plans to move local state employees

In a prior interview with the Shreveport Times Jacques Berry, Director of Policy and Communication for the state of Louisiana said, "It will be cleaned out and gutted. There's a small element of it that includes the asbestos remediation, but that's the case with any building from this era."

The building will be gutted down to the concrete foundation and steel frame and will result in a modern, state-of-the-art office space spanning eight floors.

This building will house various agencies that are currently located in the Mary Allen State Office Building on Fairfield Avenue. 

This will be a several-year process, in which state workers will continue working at the Mary Allen State Office Building until the Waggoner Building is safe. 

The Waggoner Building has been empty since 1994, the repurposing of this site will result in a return of active commerce and infuse hundreds of new people in downtown Shreveport on a daily basis. 

This project is expected to save Louisiana taxpayers close to $50 million due to the existing foundation and framework. 

Read:Yes, there's asbestos in Louisiana's new state building in Shreveport: Here's what's being done

Makenzie Boucher is a reporter with the Shreveport Times. Contact her at mboucher@gannett.com.