Contractors have provided the State Capitol Repair Expenditure Oversight Committee with estimated costs and a master plan for the full restoration of the crumbling Capitol building.

Manhattan Construction and JE Dunn Construction, the contractors chosen to restore the nearly 100-year-old, 450,000 square-foot building, detailed work on Thursday (Dec. 5, 2015) that could be completed under existing funding and work that could be completed with additional funding. The proposed work has been divided into priority levels to ensure infrastructure and life-safety issues are addressed first while allowing the state to make educated decisions about future funding.

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

  • Investigatory work on the exterior and interior to determine the full scope of necessary repairs (in progress).
  • Prerequisite construction of office space on first and third floors to allow for staff to be moved out of the west wing of the basement (in progress).
  • Excavation of the existing basement, which would be reconfigured into a secure public entrance level featuring the full rotunda view into the dome.
  • Replacement, repair and upgrades to electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems in the basement and through the core of the building.
  • Addition of climate control in the rotunda and public corridors.
  • Addition of natural gas service.
  • Faster, larger passenger elevators.
  • Addition of a proper freight elevator.
  • Public restroom infrastructure replacement and refurbishments.
  • Replacement and enhancement of fire alarms in the public areas of the building and in tenant areas currently under construction.
  • Addition of fire suppression systems in the public areas of the building and in tenant spaces currently under construction.
  • Extensive masonry repairs to the exterior façade featuring more than 200 stone repairs and replacement of more than 20 miles of failing mortar joints.
  • Complete cleaning of staining and biological growth on the exterior façade.
  • Extensive scaffolding on large portions of the exterior for repairs and restoration.

The contractors recommended an additional $122 million in construction costs to complete work necessary to meet the project goals and criteria approved by the oversight committee and fulfill the requirements of the state’s request for proposals. The additional funding recommended by the contractors would cause work to occur through 2022 and allow for:

  • New plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems in the tenant spaces which can be connected to core infrastructure improvements completed under the initial funding allotment.
  • Fresh air intake and condensate.
  • Use of a tenant single-move strategy in a fully occupied building as approved by the oversight committee.
  • Loading dock expansion.
  • Replacement and enhancement of fire alarms in tenant spaces.
  • Addition of fire suppression systems in tenant spaces.
  • Addition of stairwells at dead end corridors to address code issues and improve vertical access.
  • Tenant space construction and restoration.
  • Historically appropriate repair and restoration of all exterior windows.
  • Addition of interior storm windows.
  • Exterior door replacement.
  • Parapet through wall flashing repairs to prevent water intrusion.
  • Partial roof replacement.
  • Light-well wall repairs.
  • East tunnel repairs.
  • Repairs to exterior stairs, plazas, sidewalks and battlements.

Meeting the RFP requirements and oversight committee goals requires a total project construction cost of $242 million, according to the contractors.

In addition, a master plan for the Capitol campus was proposed by Manhattan Construction.

The master plan recommends an additional $65 million in construction costs to replace the existing parking lot east of Lincoln Boulevard with a three-story parking garage that connects to the Capitol via the existing pedestrian tunnel underneath Lincoln Boulevard. The existing south Capitol parking lot would then be turned into a Capitol park as initially envisioned a century ago by Capitol architect Solomon Layton. Under the plan, parking capacity would be increased by 30 percent, the walk from visitor parking to the building would be shortened and public gatherings would have access to better accommodations in the park area than are currently available on the existing plazas.

With the master plan component, the total project construction cost would be an estimated $307 million and last through 2022, according to the contractors.

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

OMES State Capitol Project Manager Trait Thompson said: “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. 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.

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