The Norman Transcript

Opinion

May 31, 2014

Repairs to people’s house

NORMAN — The Oklahoma State Capitol is often referred to as the people’s house. Just like any century-old building, it is in need of periodic updates. When neglected, that deferred maintenance builds up and is often more costly.

Oklahoma lawmakers this past session passed House Joint Resolution 1033 authorizing a $120 million bond issue to pay for repairs.

At issue is the crumbling exterior limestone, faulty wiring and obsolete plumbing.

Lawmakers had earlier sought to set aside $10 million a year from the state’s General Fund to begin repairs. But that plan failed as legislators soon realized that approach wouldn’t work well.

Exterior work could begin as early as this summer. A special commission will oversee the renovation work. The governor, speaker of the House and the president pro tempore of the Senate will each have three appointments to the bipartisan, nine-member committee.

Construction began on the Capitol building in 1914 and was completed in 1917. The dome, long missing from the structure, was added with much fanfare in 2002.

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