Capitol renovation nearing completion

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By Tyler Austin
Listen Up, Lansing staff reporter

The Capitol Building in downtown Lansing is one of the oldest and most historic buildings inIMG_0503 the city. Inside, events like hearings and meetings with the Senate and House of Representatives are held regularly. And similar to many pieces of older architecture, constant upkeep of the space is a necessity.

Earlier this year large-scale renovations began on the Michigan Capitol. The Capitol building is currently undergoing a restoration process unlike any other in its past, and has been for the last several months.

The Capitol is rarely worked on in such a large way. The current renovations on the capitol are the first to happen in over a decade. The last large-scale renovations done on the 267-foot-tall monument started in 1989 and weren’t finished until 1992, according to tour guide Stephanie Lerma. Since then, smaller projects have been done to add on to the work already completed, things like redoing the front steps and minor repainting but nothing on such a scale as the current construction.

“Right now, the cast iron dome is being completely repainted white,” said Lerma. “They’re also doing some interior painting.”

Most of the construction is centered on the top of the monument, around the dome, in trying to restore it to a more modern state; repainting, replacing corroded material, etc. The approved budget for the entire project is said to be around $6.4 million, according to media reports. 

With so much money being invested into the project some residents are concerned if the project is necessary. One resident of the Lansing area said she doesn’t seem to see a need for all the construction.

“I mean, I never really noticed anything wrong with it,”  said Loretta Perkins, resident of the Lansing area. “Was it that bad that they had to do all that?”

Perkins is a weekly visitor to the area that surrounds the Capitol building and was surprised that such a large-scale project was needed.

But people like Dan Brocklehurst, director of Capitol Facilities, and security Officer Ryan Davis are excited for the renovations and seem unfazed by the construction going on.

“Well it doesn’t really affect my day to day,” said Davis, who works the building. “It’s an old building.”IMG_0490

The renovations are set to be done in late November and many people are eager to see the results. One intern from the Farnum Building across the street only has been in the building a handful of times but has high expectations for the results from the project.

“It’s something that has to happen every few years,” she said in a hopeful tone. “I’m sure we’ll definitely see a difference when it’s all done.”

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