Whenever an organization is in need of more office space, there are a multitude of options to consider. Some retrofit a building that was previously occupied, lease additional floors in another commercial space or create its own workplace.

Last year, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton approved to build a new building to house 45 state senators. he problem with the proposed $90 million project is that it was a part of an omnibus tax bill, not the usual bonding bill, a local NBC affiliate reported.

“They have passed a $90 million dollar Taj Mahal that doesn’t even house all 67 of the senators,” Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson explained during a news conference recently.

Currently, the state’s senators all work in the capitol building, taking up about 38,000 square feet. The way the capitol building is set up, lines for some offices “stretch down the hallways,” causing significant congestion.

Governor Dayton agreed that the glass, stone and steel structure may be “un-Minnesotan,” but explained to a local CBS affiliate that the combination of these materials keeps the cost of construction low.

Since the heated debate began, the House Rules Committee passed a vote to cut down the budget to $76.8 million, where the new space will include an office for all senators. The bill also cited other alternatives like re-purposing the Department of Administration or Ford buildings, as well as leasing portions of the Department of Transportation’s office space, a local NPR affiliate noted.

Minnesota’s debate illustrates how important it is to negotiate with colleagues on building a workspace. Input from others can help identify areas to drive down costs, while getting the task at hand done. However, what neither the governor or his opponents discussed is what would be inside of the Senate building.

Business furniture for example, plays a crucial role in any office space. By purchasing used office furnishings governments and companies often can lower the overall project costs. Minnesota illustrates the critical and powerful role that pre-owned office furniture can have in creating a viable project that meets constituents’ needs.