LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Plans are quietly underway to build a brand-new State Capitol complex with lots of neat attractions designed to celebrate Lansing and the state government.

“We look at it kind of like a smaller scale National Mall in the same manner. This park, which we’re calling Park Michigan, celebrates Michigan it has an opportunity to celebrate our history and celebrate our governmental institutions,” said John Bollman of the Michigan State Capitol Commission.

With the addition of this new visitor center right next to the State Capitol, there has been a bump in the number of tourists visiting and the number of school kids as well.

The State Capitol Commission hopes to turn these schematic drawings into a new venue that will attract even more people to the Lansing area. It’ll be centered so you can see the State Capitol, The State Library and Historical Center and the Hall of Justice with these attractions. 

“But it would potentially have an amphitheater. We get a lot of school groups that come to the Capitol building, so would be an opportunity for them to to perform in an outdoor venue. And if you look to the north, we plan on building some features that depict Michigan’s natural resources, a Pure Michigan kind of feature within the green space we would have. Native plantings park benches, a place to relax and enjoy. Our hope is that we can do a public-private partnership,” Bollman said.

Park Michigan has the full support and two influential lawmakers behind this project: Sarah Anthony, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and Angela Witwer, chair of the House Budget Committee.

By next spring, the Capitol Commission hopes to begin work on converting this state employee parking lot into an attraction that could lure up to 500,000 people a year to the capital city.