Wednesday, August 11, 2010
As the state Capitol building ages - it opened for occupancy 93 years ago - it is increasingly showing wear and tear, to the point that extensive repairs will be needed in the next decade or so.
The Central Services Department, which maintains this and other state buildings, says that the plumbing, electrical, heat and air, and some of the exterior need major renovations.
The projected cost for the repairs is in the ballpark of $150 million. If approved, the project could take between three years, if the entire building was emptied of the current legislative and governmental offices, and six years, if the work was done with the building still occupied, in which case the cost upwards of $250 million.
For more on this story, read this article from the Daily Oklahoman.
Temporarily moving the legislature and other agencies and offices from the Capitol building would be a major, major headache. In the case of the legislature, suitable facilities would be needed for the State House and State Senate to meet in, with access for the public and to offices for the legislators.
As a friend said to me this morning, perhaps they could go to Guthrie (Oklahoma's capital, first as a territory and then as a state, from 1890-1910) during the repairs, and call it a "throwback" session, much like "throwback" games in sports.