State Capitol gets multimillion dollar facelift - - Jackson, MS

State Capitol gets multimillion dollar facelift

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Everywhere you turn at the Mississippi State Capitol you hear drilling and hammering. The work will still be in progress when lawmakers return in January.

"It's time for another renovation," said Lawson Newman who works with WFT Architects.

Newman is overseeing the Capitol restoration and repairs.

"We're focusing on the exterior of the building," explained Newman. "Especially up at the roof, around the main dome; a lot of issues over the years. In fact, since the building was constructed the dome has leaked and other parts of the roof leaked."

Newman says the complicated roofline makes it more difficult to maintain the building. The last time it got a full facelift was in the early 1980's.

"With this building obviously even at its time was very sophisticated," Newman described. "In the system, the materials, the problems that you run into because of the sophistication of the building are different than what you face on the other buildings."

Some passersby described the rotunda's current look as a makeshift dance-floor. But it's sole purpose is safety first, so no one stands in harm's way.

"Laying down a pad which is similar to a carpet pad and then putting plywood over that to protect the marble floor in case anything falls from above," said Newman.

One of the more delicate parts of the process involves the stained glass. Tuesday's task for Pearl River Stained Glass Studio was taking the windows out of the House Chamber.

"The windows in both the chambers we are hoping will be finished and reinstalled before the session," explained Newman.

The money for the $7.4 million project was approved in stages by the legislature. Some of that money was from bonds passed in 2010 and 2013.

Two-thousand-seventeen is the state's bicentennial. Speaker Philip Gunn says it's important for the Capitol to look its best for the celebrations.

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