Needed repairs to the historic Minnesota state Capitol in St. Paul could cost $200 million to $300 million over 10 years and might require the governor and lawmakers to temporarily vacate the building during construction.
The dome leaks, there’s lots of water damage and pieces of the building are falling off the exterior, endangering those below, notes Channel 4 news.
Built in 1905, the building has major electrical and heating problems, too.
If approved, the repairs will mean legislators and the governor may have to work elsewhere during some of the construction. How about Arden Hills? Just kidding.
Gov. Mark Dayton told WCCO:
“It’s going to be a major, major disruption. You liken it to maybe an interstate highway project that takes three four five years. It’s major disruption and dysfunction.”
And architects looking at the design are considering whether some of the Capitol tenants should move out of the building permanently. Currently, the Senate majority members have offices in the Capitol, as do the governor and other top elected state officials. Minority senators and all House members are housed in the neighboring State Office Building.
Apparently, some Republican senators might oppose getting evicted from the big house, now that they’re finally in the majority after decades in the minority (and in the SOB).
MPR reports that Republican Sen. Dave Senjem told a meeting of the Capitol Preservation Commission this week:
“It’s going to take an awful lot of discussion, and it’s going to have to be a good idea. Because I think generally speaking, the majority party thinks for them at least being here works pretty well. It is a little parochial I will admit, but I think that’s just the way it is.”
Dayton, though, said lawmakers need to set aside their own personal preferences and self-interests for what’s in the greater good, MPR said.