Thursday, October 12, 2017

Session on hold: State Capitol closed for one week for electrical upgrade

As part of the ongoing restoration work at the State Capitol, the building's aging electrical infrastructure will be replaced, necessitating the complete closure of the Capitol building for an entire week, starting tomorrow evening.

This had been scheduled for quite some time, and will mean that the Legislature will be unable to meet for the ongoing Special Session until power is restored and the building is reopened on Monday, October 23rd.


State Capitol Building to be Temporarily Closed for  Electrical Upgrade

OKLAHOMA CITY – The State Capitol building, which will be without power, will be closed to everyone but workers from Manhattan Construction for one week starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, per direction of the Oklahoma Fire Marshal. The temporary closure is necessary to ensure the safety of construction workers, tenants and visitors while the Capitol’s outdated electrical infrastructure is being replaced. The building will be reopened to tenants and the public on Monday, Oct. 23.

“When you’re talking about this sort of voltage, there’s virtually no way to work it safely when you’re talking about the terminations. That’s why you have to completely shut down the power to do the work,” said Andrea Gossard in a video detailing the electrical power project. Gossard is the project manager for Manhattan Construction, the company handling the interior restoration work.

The upgrade will allow the old and new systems to run parallel during restoration. As restoration progresses, electrical service will be switched from the old to the new, thus limiting the need for future power outages.

“As in all aspects of the Capitol Restoration project, safety is our No. 1 priority,” Capitol Restoration Project Manager Trait Thompson said. “This work is necessary to make the transition from the Capitol’s outdated electrical system to a modern system. This is one more positive step in the restoration of the people’s building.”

Thompson says the Office of Management and Enterprise Services established a special project team for the outage and assigned key staff to partner with the agencies in relocating them to other state office buildings during the time the Capitol is without power.

Since the announcement of the outage was made in April, OMES’ entire project team has met in person twice with representatives from every Capitol tenant, as well as numerous times over the phone and by email to coordinate logistics for moving phones, printers, computers, specialized equipment and other necessary items to their temporary locations. Additionally, OMES worked out a plan with each tenant for mail delivery during the outage. For those tenants with IT servers in the building, there was a special meeting to review shutdown and power up procedures and timelines.

Signs announcing the closure will be posted at each Capitol building entrance. On Oct. 13, prior to powering down the building, OMES and the Department of Public Safety will physically inspect every area of the building to ensure everyone has vacated. Once the all-clear is given, OG&E will commence action to bring the power down.

Visit capitolrestore.ok.gov for more information on the Capitol Restoration project, including documents related to the electrical work on the blog "VIDEO: Electrical Shutdown Necessitates Capitol Closure in October."

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