The Norman Transcript

April 14, 2013

Our Capitol ‘crime scene’


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating recently referred to the state Capitol building as resembling “a crime scene.”

No doubt it was the yellow tape around one of the front entrances of the Capitol that reminded Mr. Keating of the crime scene.

For several years, access has been limited as the building’s managers feared falling pieces of limestone could injure a visitor or employee.

Preservation Oklahoma Inc., the watchdog non-profit that keeps the fate of historic buildings in check, has put the Capitol on its list of most endangered places.

Besides falling limestone, state employees and guests have to deal with raw sewage leaking in the building’s basement and wiring that is nearly 100 years old.

Gov. Mary Fallin has proposed some immediate relief and money for a study on how best to fix the state Capitol. It’s estimated to be a $200 million project that is not getting any cheaper.

The deteriorating condition didn’t happen overnight and lawmakers shouldn’t try and fix it with a single appropriation.

A bond issue, done now while the cost of money is cheap, seems like a good fix.

In any event, it’s embarrassing to go through another tourist season with crime scene tape greeting them at the Capitol.

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