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Gov. Mary Fallin signs measure to repair Oklahoma's crumbling Capitol

Oklahoma governor approves bill for $120 million bond issue to pay to repair nearly 100-year-old state Capitol.
by Rick Green Modified: May 29, 2014 at 10:04 pm •  Published: May 29, 2014
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photo - Architect Duane Mass holds a crumpled piece of mortar outside the state Capitol during a tour for members of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee to areas of the building in need of repair, in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Architect Duane Mass holds a crumpled piece of mortar outside the state Capitol during a tour for members of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee to areas of the building in need of repair, in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

With a stroke of her pen, Gov. Mary Fallin on Thursday set in motion the biggest refurbishment of the state Capitol since it was built nearly a century ago.

She signed a measure that authorizes $120 million in bonds to pay for repairs to the building, which is crumbling on the exterior and beset by electrical and plumbing problems.

“The state Capitol is the seat of our government and an important symbol of Oklahoma,” Fallin said. “The disrepair it had fallen into was a black eye for the entire state. This bond issue offers a responsible way to rebuild and repair the people’s house. My thanks go out to our legislators for taking action to restore the Capitol.”

A bipartisan committee is to oversee the repairs.

Exterior repairs to begin first

Exterior work could begin in late summer or early fall. Interior work should begin next year.

Capitol architect Duane Mass said approval of a plan to fix the building came in the nick of time.

“Time and decay have been eroding so many of this building’s critical components,” he said.

“We can now ensure a program to halt the damaging infiltration of water, evidenced by falling limestone and concrete, and to replace worn and faulty plumbing and 100-year-old wiring, which at any moment can place this critical structure out of service. Work on the building in the months ahead will ensure that the Capitol will provide another century of service to Oklahoma.”

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by Rick Green
Capitol Bureau Chief
Rick Green is the Capitol Bureau Chief of The Oklahoman. A graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., he worked as news editor for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City before joining The Oklahoman.
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This bond issue offers a responsible way to rebuild and repair the people’s house. My thanks go out to our legislators for taking action to restore the Capitol.”

Gov. Mary Fallin,

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