A report to the Senate Ways and Means Committee detailing options for the future of the Docking State Office Building was released last week by the Department of the Administration outlining possible options for the 62-year-old structure.

One option calls for the rehabilitation of the building in its entirety, with a price tag of $114 million. The other option reduces Docking to three floors with an additional three floors built on top as part of new construction costing $110 million. Both options also make provisions for possible labs to be used by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment at an added cost.

This report has merit. We’ve longed to see action taken on the Docking Building for some time now. Years actually. It takes up a concerning amount of space in Topeka and is supposed to serve as a tribute to Robert Docking, Kansas’ 38th governor. At the moment, it leaves a lot to be desired.

The Brownback administration had planned to demolish the space. We’re glad that to see that likely isn’t happening. The options Laura Kelly’s administration proposes show progress and a step in the right direction for not just Topeka but the whole state.

For those that aren’t aware, the building is home to the Capitol complex’s central power plant. Demolishing the building would have just as many, if not more implications for the state. We’re glad to see others come to the same conclusion.

Fixing this space up has the potential to allow for more centralization for government agencies, provide needed training and conference spaces and provide for some space sharing efficiencies among departments. Those benefits seem like something everyone can get behind.

Our hope is that legislators will examine the options, take it seriously, ask hard questions, debate the pros and cons and then finally use some Kansas common sense to pick an option.

It seems there’s a consensus that something should be done with the building. So let’s get it done. Both houses can and should work together to get that something to Kelly’s desk.

Please also give careful consideration to the KDHE portion of the project. The added lab space would replace labs currently housed at Forbes Field. Is this needed and does it make sense to include in the project? Better to decide that now than after a major renovation.

There’s been enough delay with this project. Let’s get to work.