Crews Face Several Challenges As They Repair OK Capitol

Tuesday, December 30th 2014, 6:36 pm
By: Karl Torp

We are getting a better idea of what kind of work needs to be done to the outside of the Oklahoma State Capitol building. A new report on the exterior façade of the nearly 100-year-old building has just been released.

“Most of the problems in this building are due to moisture infiltration,” said State Capitol Project Manager, Trait Thompson.

The report shows that even the 12-year-old capitol dome is showing cracks.

“Structurally it's nothing,” said architect Duane Mass.

Mass said the material used for the dome is manmade and lighter than the big limestone blocks used on the rest of the capitol.

“I'm not worried about this stone failing and letting any moisture in,” said Mass, who thinks the thin cracks on the dome can been filled in easier and the entire dome sealed.

However, the sealer used on the limestone back in the 1980's has left an orange color on the stone.

“Did more harm than good,” said Thompson.

Back in the 1980's, the limestone was sandblasted allowing the sealer to easier seep into the stone. The new report shows that it may not be possible to remove the orange color. Other problems include below grade walls that are now cracking.

“May have to be replaced and that's going to be quite a task,” said Mass, who also told News 9 the mortar between limestone blocks has deteriorated.

The report also showed that every window at the capitol will most likely have to be replaced.

Lawmakers passed a $125 million bond issue for capitol improvements. A maximum of $25 million can be spent on the exterior of the capital.