Extreme Weather Takes Its Toll On State Capitol

Wednesday, September 28th 2011, 10:20 pm
By: News 9

Dana Hertneky, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY --The state capitol is crumbling.

Pieces of the walls have been falling from the top of the outside of the capitol building.

Capitol maintenance started noticing the small pieces of limestone and grout early this month.

Closer inspection revealed holes at the top edge of the south side of the capitol.

"With Oklahoma's extreme weather, it's just bound to happen that things get old," said Sara Cowden Director of Special Projects for the State Department of Central Services.

The Department of Central Services enlisted the help of an engineering firm to investigate what was going on.

The findings show water has been getting behind the limestone veneer for a long time and likely corroding the tie-back clips that hold the limestone to the building.

The study focused on the southeast corner of the Capitol but the report reads: "This situation is indicative of the entire building."

"It is sad because it's a beautiful building," said Jennifer Shockley who works at the Capitol.

DCS has put up scaffolding to protect people from falling debris and has blocked off other areas around the building as they try to figure out how to fix the problem and get the money to pay for it.

"I don't think anyone is in danger of panels falling off right now, but over time things like that are going to happen," said Cowden.

DCS's director says without urgent attention the current situation will rapidly worsen, but he says without additional resources, they may only be able to make patch repairs.