The State Capitol Building will open on schedule after being closed since 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, for an electrical upgrade. The building was closed to remove existing electrical equipment and make the transfer to a new system.

The first 72 hours were the most crucial to the outage success, as demolition crews worked around the clock to remove existing switchgear and busway traversing the southwest wing of the building. At the same time, framers prepared a new fire-rated and code compliant electrical room where the connection was made between the OG&E vault and the new underground feeders.

Electricians worked in shifts to make the connection with the new state-of-the-art equipment and components of the existing system that will continue to power portions of the building for the next few years. Additionally, pipe fitters capitalized on the building downtime by relocating sections of condensing water pipe in another wing of the Capitol to facilitate future construction.

“I’d like to thank Manhattan, FSB, OESCO and OG&E for their hard work in ensuring the electrical upgrade during the outage was carried out safely and on schedule,” said State Capitol Project Manager Trait Thompson.  “I would also like to thank everyone at OMES who worked for months to ensure a smooth transition for the agencies during the relocation to alternate work space, and thank the agencies for their patience and understanding during this necessary restoration work at the Capitol.”

Throughout the week crews have been testing and inspecting the new gear. From the main 3,000 amp breakers to the computer graphic display screens that produce real-time load calculations, every piece of the new electrical system was tested and inspected by various authorities. The emergency generator was fired up for the first time on Thursday morning, a full 24 hours ahead of the original schedule for this final step in the upgrade process.

The building will open for regular business at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 23.

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