OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Bright yellow barricades that prevent pedestrian traffic in front of Oklahoma's Capitol are just the most obvious indication that major repairs are needed on the nearly 100-year-old building, the state's Capitol architect told lawmakers Tuesday.
Architect Duane Mass and other state officials took members of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee on a tour of areas of the building outside the public's view that revealed rotting pipes, crumbling walls and a patchwork of disorganized repairs.
Mass estimated the necessary repairs at about $153 million, a price tag that will be difficult to foot with an increasingly conservative Legislature that has shown its distaste for issuing state bonds to pay for projects. A last-minute proposal for a $200 million bond package at the end of last session received just 15 votes in the 101-member House.
"I'm really concerned about the future of this building," said state Rep. Harold Wright, R-Weatherford, who requested Tuesday's interim study. "It's a disgrace, quite frankly, for people to come to this building and see that scaffolding out there."
The 400,000-square-foot building was built between 1914 and 1917. A dome added to the Capitol was completed in 2002.