Capitol repair bill to rise to $307M?

Instead of $120,000,000.00 to restore the State Capitol, contractors are now asking for $307,000,000.00 – two and half times the original projections.

Last year, the Legislature approved borrowing $120,000,000.00 to fix the crumbling building after decades of unfulfilled maintenance. Gov. Mary Fallin approved.

Manhattan Construction and J.E Dunn Construction were the contractors chosen to restore the nearly 100-year-old, 450,000 square-foot building. On December 6, they told the State Capitol Repair Expenditure Committee what could be done for $120,000,000.00 and what could be done with an extra $187,000,000.00.

They claim that $120,000,000.00 is only enough to deal with high priority fixes to “ensure infrastructure  and life-safety issue.” They said that would buy time for state officials to convince the approval of additional millions of dollars – perhaps in borrowed funds.

Contractors said $120,000,000.00 is not enough to make the repairs requested on the bid.

This report was given even in light of projected $1,000,000,000.00 budget shortfall for the state next year due to declining energy prices.

The contractors said all they could do for $120,000,000.00 was:

  • Investigate the level of necessary repairs inside and out
  • Construction of office space on the first and third floors to move staff out of the west wing of the basement
  • Excavation of the basement and remodeling into an entrance with a rotunda
  • Replace, repair and upgrade electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems
  • Add climate control to the rotunda and public corridors
  • Add natural gas service
  • Enlarge and speed up the elevators
  • Add a freight elevator
  • Replace and refurbish public restrooms
  • Replace fire alarms and install fire suppression systems
  • Repair masonry on the exterior façade
  • Clean and re-stain the exterior
  • Scaffolding on the exterior to aid repairs

That work could be done by 2018.

Here is work that the contractors claim would cost an additional $122,000,000.00 that would be completed by 2022:

Work that could be completed with only the initial $120 million in funding would occur through 2018 and include:

  • New plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems
  • Fresh air intake
  • Loading dock expansion
  • Replace more fire alarms
  • Addition of stairwells at deadend corridors
  • Historically correct repair of exterior windows
  • Exterior door replacement
  • Flashing repairs in walls
  • Partial roof replacement
  • Interior wall repair
  • East tunnel repairs
  • Repair of exterior stairs, plaza, sidewalks and more

Manhattan Construction also proposed a master plan for the Capitol campus that would add another $65,000,000.00 to the overage.

That plan would replace the parking east of Lincoln Boulevard with a three-story parking garage connected to the capitol via an existing pedestrian tunnel.

The state will spend the next several weeks reviewing the contractors’ proposals to determine how much additional funding to seek for the project.

“The initial funding is a great start and, as we’ve known all along, additional funding will be necessary to have a great finish to this long overdue project,” said OMES State Capitol Project Manager Trait Thompson. ”The state will carefully review these proposals to formulate a funding recommendation for the next legislative session. The aggregate cost as proposed by the contractors is in line with other comprehensive capitol restoration projects across the country.”

The state will also be exploring financing options to propose in the next legislative session.

“The state has a tremendous amount of bond principal rolling off the books throughout this project that allows for some very attractive bond options that are responsible and workable even in the current budgetary environment,” said OMES Director Preston L. Doerflinger.