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SALEM, OR-The state plans to open the bidding next month for construction of a 115,000-sf office building on State Capital grounds here that will hold the Oregon Parks Department, the Water Resources Department and Housing and Community Services.

The three-story building will be located at the north end of the Capitol Mall, between Mill Creek and the Oregon Employment Building. Groundbreaking for the building is expected in April. Construction is expected to take 16 to 18 months.

Included in the project will be the relocation, preservation and conversion of several vacant historic homes on the mall into office space. Four of the homes will be relocated and situated to mimic and insulate the adjacent neighborhood from the larger office project.

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