Capitol Restoration Progress Update
Over the next few weeks and months, employees and visitors at the Oklahoma State Capitol will begin to notice a definite uptick of work in and around the building.
Over the past few months, members of the exterior design-build team (JE Dunn Construction, ADG Architecture, and Treanor Architects) have been working to finalize design documents, which is a precursor to the start of construction. The design documents are submitted to the state in multiple phases over several months, providing the opportunity for review and comments. The amount of design detail necessary to execute a project of this magnitude is staggering and it takes awhile to get everything just right.
With the design work essentially finalized, JE Dunn Construction will begin erecting scaffolding on the north wing of the building on July 21st. This is the beginning of major construction operations on the exterior.
Once the scaffolding is erected, the first task that will be undertaken is the abatement of lead and asbestos on the 100-year old cast iron windows. This is necessary to restore the historic windows.
Following the abatement process, stonemasons will begin grinding the mortar joints to remove the old mortar in preparation for re-pointing. The stone will also be cleaned with a variety of methods and damaged stone will be repaired or, in some cases, replaced.
This repair process will repeat itself as the scaffolding swings around the building in stages. As work is completed in an area, the scaffolding will be moved around the building in a clockwise rotation. Consequently, the entirety of the building will never be scaffolded all at one time.
The second step of the prerequisite phase is in full swing.
For those who may not remember, the prerequisite phase started last summer in an effort to begin moving Capitol employees out of the basement. This work adheres to our philosophy of using as much of the money allocated to the project as possible for work in the building instead of being used for costs such as office relocation or temporary office space.
With conclusion of renovation work in Room 109, the vast majority of the remaining employees in the west wing of the basement will move upstairs. No temporary office space was necessary using this approach, which resulted in significant savings.
The interior design-build team (Manhattan Construction & Frankfurt-Short-Bruza) has been going through a design schedule similar to exterior team. To enhance their design solutions, they have also been holding stakeholder meetings with various groups operating in the Capitol, from the Department of Public Safety to the Office of Disability Concerns to the Arts Council and many more. These stakeholder meetings allowed all interested parties to provide feedback to the project and trouble shoot potential problems before they arise. As in the case of the exterior project, once designs are submitted, the state is given an opportunity to review and provide comments.
Here are a few upcoming milestones on the interior project:
- Begin demolition work in the basement – Sept. 1
- Completion of Room 109 – Sept. 15
- Infrastructure and heavy construction work begins in west wing of basement – Jan. 1, 2017