The Norman Transcript


May 18, 2014

Crumbling Capitol a dangerous place — not just politically



“Our state Capitol building is crumbling,” she said in April. “We’re all very familiar with the sewage problems, the electrical problems, the plumbing problems, the façade in front of the Capitol that is crumbling, the barricades that we’ve had up now for 31⁄2 years. And we’ve yet to take a step forward to find a solution to the problem and act upon it.”

This week McNutt said repairing the Capitol is still a “very high priority.” He said he couldn’t discuss whether she is satisfied with a $120 compromise. Though a bond issue is not part of the budget, its fate is tied to budget negotiations.

Estus said a project could be done in phases, starting with exterior renovations and an excavation of the basement to prevent water seepage and to fix the decay, which is so bad that cast-iron pipes simply disintegrate when touched.

“The issues just get worse every day, and the longer the issues stick around, the more expensive it gets,” he said. “It’s gotten to the point where we’re living in a safety hazard, we’re operating in a safety hazard, so I don’t think the Legislature has any desire to walk out of the building this year without providing funding for this project.”


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