JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — If you’ve passed through Jefferson City or visited the statehouse within the past two years- you’ve probably seen scaffolding, orange cones and lots of construction workers, and just like us you might be wondering when will construction be complete.
It’s not hard to miss – the 100 year old Missouri Capitol building is surrounded by scaffolding, gates, equipment and workers.
Dana Rademan Miller, said, “This has been many years in the works. 2009 was the first comprehensive study on the stone and the exterior.”
Chief Clerk Administrator for the House of Representatives and member of the Missouri State Capitol commission – Dana Rademan Miller says this restoration project started in 2018 – and is the largest renovation the building has ever been under.
“We had a lot of water and air entering the building and of course that led to other issues, environmental issues inside.”
So we were well overdue.
Rademan Miller says the statehouse was built in 1917 – it cost $5 million to construct – for a renovation like this – it cost more than 10 times as much.
“By the 21st century when we are looking at what it cost to fix something like this, we are looking at $55 million and that’s, give or take a little bit, what was spent to repair the exterior. This project is being paid for by bonds.”
So what will look different on the outside to visitors when complete?
“If you look at the dome you can kind of see where there is some patchwork. You can see where that’s some of the work that needed to be replaced.”
“We refer to that new stone as it needs to cure. So it needs to be exposed to these elements and then it will blend right in.”
And that stone is Missouri made.
“We were able to work with a quarry down in Springfield.”
“They estimated about 5 percent of the stone had to be replaced on the building.”
With a few hiccups of severe storms – and a pandemic – Rademan Miller says the project is still set to be complete later this year.
“I would hope that it’s another 100 years before we see this again.”
She says the next phase – will be inside the Capitol.
“My concern is code and compliance and when constituents visit here they are able to see their elected officials without having to make accommodations because they can’t reach their office.”
Rademan Miller says she the plan is to see the entire building without scaffolding by veto session in September – with the inauguration of the Governor to take place on the south steps here behind me in January.