A multimillion shekel refurbishing of the Knesset is set to move forward, after Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Knesset management approved it, Yisrael Hayom reported.
The “Knesset 2030” plan will see the expansion of the building itself by the addition of a sixth floor, as well as the construction of several satellite buildings for visitors and employees. All told, the project will cost several hundred million shekels, officials said.
The reason for the expansion is the explosion in recent years of activity in the Knesset. Space is at a premium, and many administrative activities have been farmed out to rented offices around Yerushalayim. The purpose of the project is to centralize all of the Knesset’s activities in a single compound.
The addition of a sixth floor will provide more office space, and allow for the expansion of MK’s allocated offices, to allow them to hire more personnel. In addition, a separate three-story administrative center will be built to handle staff that do not work directly on legislative work, but are involved in support services. In addition, a visitors’ center to accommodate the upwards of 200,000 annual visitors to the plenum will be constructed, as will a separate building to house the State Election Committee. Also on the list (although not definite yet) is the construction of a hostel for the use of MKs when discussions end very late at night or during inclement weather.
The plans alone that have been drawn up by a Tel Aviv architectural firm cost some NIS 12 million. The plans will now be submitted to the various building and planning committees that need to give their approval. Those committees will conduct public hearings, in which Israelis will be free to express their opinions on the project.
According to Knesset Director General Albert Sacharovich, “the advancement of the Knesset 2030 plan and its move to the planning committees is important news for Israel, allowing us to prepare in a professional manner for the future. The approval of the plan will allow us to provide appropriate solutions for lawmakers, who work for the benefit of Israeli democracy.”