Senate moves to temporary digs during $20M renovation

Massachusetts State House
Massachusetts State House. –Pat Greenhouse / The Boston Globe

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate is leaving its ornate chamber at the Statehouse and won’t be returning anytime soon.

Senators on Wednesday will be holding their first formal session in temporary quarters in Gardner Auditorium, located below ground in the historic capitol building that opened in 1798.

The reason for the move: The Senate chamber is in line for a $20 million renovation and is not expected to reopen for business until the start of the next biennial legislative session in January 2019.

Lawmakers authorized capital funds to pay for the face-lift in 2014. It’s believed to be the most extensive renovation the chamber has ever seen.

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Senate staffers have been scrambling to make sure the temporary digs are set up for live broadcasts and fully accessible to the public.

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