Archive for Friday, December 16, 2011

New Capitol dome will shine like a penny, cost a whole lot more

December 16, 2011


Plans are under way to replace the Capitol’s copper dome.

When complete, the dome will be as shiny as a new penny, but it will cost a whole lot more.

Try $10.3 million.

At a meeting of the Capitol Preservation Committee, Statehouse Architect Barry Greis gave a rundown of progress on the $296 million project to restore, renovate and add new space to the building.

Since the Capitol project started in 2000 at an initial estimate of $90 million, the project has had several expensive add- ons and cost overruns.

Preservation Committee member William “Bill” Wagnon asked why the dome needed to be replaced.

“We can’t stop the leaks,” Greis said. “They are significant.”

Then the committee questioned what the dome — now a patchwork of green blotches — would look like when replaced.

Greis said the new copper would be bright and shiny. Within a month or two, however, the copper will start to oxidize and turn a dull brown. He said it may take 30 years before the copper starts to turn green again.

Committee member Lana Gordon, a Republican legislator from Topeka, asked if the weight of the Ad Astra statue put a strain on the dome. Greis said the statue was well-supported and causing no problem to the roof structure.

Several committee members wanted to know what would happen with the old copper.

Some of it will be sold to a salvage company and some given to the State Historical Society, Greis said. Committee member Carol McDowell said some of the copper should be made into souvenirs and sold to help offset the cost.

The job of taking down the copper and replacing it may start next spring.


Betty Bartholomew 6 years, 4 months ago

The dome's been green for as long as I can remember, and I'm 32. It'll seem wrong with a new top. Perhaps some sort of sealant in Corroded Penny Green could be applied.

overthemoon 6 years, 4 months ago

It will develop the green patina in time. There are ways to speed that up, but its actually important to let it do it on its own at the patina creates the surface that makes copper roofing last for centuries.

DillonBarnes 6 years, 4 months ago

Eventually, you'll have 32 year olds who can only remember the statehouse while it's been under construction!

deec 6 years, 4 months ago

"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :"

motercyclejim 6 years, 4 months ago

The dome is in Topeka get your fact strait!

Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

They're lucky that copper thieves haven't ripped it all down.

1983Hawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Barry Greis has presided over the most disastrously inefficient architecture project in the history of the state.

jmadison 6 years, 4 months ago

Its only 300 percent of the original estimate. How many contractors have been able to retire courtesy of this project?

1983Hawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Not just the contractors. Treanor Architects has made out like bandits, too. And good ol' state architect Barry just keeps hanging in there, year after year after year as the costs continue to skyrocket. Where's the accountability?

WilburNether 6 years, 4 months ago

Don't forget that the construction firm was hired during the Sebelius Administration -- and were huge contributors to Queen Kathy's campaign. We taxpayers will be paying for that bit of "crony capitalism" for years and years.

1983Hawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Bzzzzt. You lose. But thanks for playing. Treanor and Dunn were brought in during the Graves administration.

dinglesmith 6 years, 4 months ago

You just made this up. Graves started the process and there is no evidence that the firms contributed to Sebelius' campaign. Shame on you.

George_Braziller 6 years, 4 months ago

“We can’t stop the leaks,” said Greis. “They are significant.”

If the dome is (and has been) leaking it seems that should have been the first priority before even starting work on the interior. $206 million over the original estimate and only now addressing the leaks?

How many million more will it now take to repair the water damage to the recently completed repairs?

blindrabbit 6 years, 4 months ago

Better yet do like the dome in Sacramento, cover with gold leaf!

DanR 6 years, 4 months ago

That place was let go like a dilapidated old barn for decades. It was shameful the way it looked prior to the recent renovation with tiles missing and chunks of the facade gone. It's one of the finest and more interesting capitol structures in the country (3rd tallest dome) but has become a disgrace to the history of this fine state. Just FIX it. The cost is a few bucks per person.

pace 6 years, 4 months ago

The dome was cleaned and patched around 50 years ago. Then, you could climb up to it. Long climb culminating in narrow little spiral stairs. If you dared, you could walk on the support beam to the inside wall of the dome and leave your intiials. Mine and my brothers are there. Probably best it was closed to the public. We watched the men clean and repair , roped and belted they tinkered away. The view was wonderful, they came in when it got windy. Good, brave guys.

George_Braziller 6 years, 4 months ago

You used to be able to go outside the dome on the walkway around the cupola . I remember it very well. I was in kindergarten and it scared the crap out of me. My sister however was four and fearless. She decided the railing was a jungle gym and started swinging off of it. My dad grabbed her and pulled her back. One missed handhold and she would have been a splat on the pavement.

KS 6 years, 4 months ago

Pace: I don't think it was 50 years ago. I remember when it was all cleaned. That seems like only about 15 years ago. The 1966 tornado took a little toll on the dome and it was closed to the public. I do believe that it has reopened. I took the hike up there a few years ago and the view of Topeka is outstanding. Not an easy climb and a rather scary one too. Not for the faint of heart.

Grump 6 years, 4 months ago

If this is such a problem, why is it that they just noticed it now?

sad_lawrencian 6 years, 4 months ago

Seems like they've been working on the capitol building for as long as I've lived in Kansas. Never will get the darn thing finished. Wouldn't it be nice to drive by the capitol and not see cranes?

1983Hawk 6 years, 4 months ago

LJW needs to add up how much Treanor Architects and JE Dunn Construction have made off this project the last 11 years. At the very least that info might be helpful the next time one of em comes in and asks the city of Lawrence to bend over and grant yet another round of property tax abatements. Right, boys?

1983Hawk 6 years, 4 months ago

The silence is deafening from the Treanor trolls this morning. Can just picture 'em sitting there in their tax abated palace in downtown Lawrence trying to hope this thing all blows over. My favorite line is from good ol' state architect Barry, going back in for the umpteenth time to ask for more money that will likely end up in the pockets of Treanor, Dunn, and others.

"We can't stop the leaks."

LOL. That guy can't stop a nosebleed.

LHS56 6 years, 4 months ago

Usually an architect's fee for a remodeling/renovation project is 8 to 12 percent. Just to round off numbers I'm assuming the architectural fee to date is 31 million. Yes...31 million dollars. The project has been under construction 11 years and estimate another 4 years for completion. hire 10 architects at 100,000 per year. Total cost would be 15 million for the architectural services (I've included support staff and overhead in the 100,000 per year.)
So...hmmm....31 million less 15 million leaves a net profit for Mr. Treanor of 16 million. And he doesn't even coach football. Not bad. I think this would be the one percent. (And I think Mike is a great architect. Not his fault the State is screwed up so bad. Where is the accountablilty?)

Don Whiteley 6 years, 4 months ago

We don't have enough money to keep SRS offices open around the state, but we're going to spend $10.3 million replacing the dome on the capital. Out of the hands of the poor and into the hands of the politicians. What kind of lunatic idea is this?

pace 6 years, 4 months ago

Wickapedia has good notes on the capitol Construction on the East Wing began in 1866, using "native" limestone from Geary County, Kansas. Construction began on the West Wing in 1879 using limestone from Cottonwood Falls, Kansas and in 1881, the legislature authorized and appropriated funds for the construction of a central building to link the two wings. Construction of this central building began in 1886, and the contract for dome construction was let in May, 1889.

If it is a good building, one should keep foundation and roof in good repair. We haven't been doing that in Kansas. We (by electing Brownback) have been destroying infrastructure of structures and services. It is a pity the remodel seems to be so horribly managed. I have always thought the building and grounds were great. I was so sorry when they wrecked the old library.

Getaroom 6 years, 4 months ago

Ask the Sugar Daddy Koch Brothers for a leg-up on this dome project since they like to spread their "libertarian" seed money around so much - to their Corporate puppets. Maybe they can buy some spray-on bulk urine while they are at it, so we are not blinded by the light of Brownbackwards "upper room" as he waits for the 2nd coming. Perhaps, in addition, he could strip out some bucks from his kingdoms towns to help out? Say, close local DMV's so all of us are required to get to the Lords Palace to get Kobach's voter ID's and our Drivers Licenses renewed. Sure would save the State a bunch of money, help pay for the Turnpike, and an opportunity to bow down to the once gleaming and future green dome. Do not feelings of Patriotism and gratitude fill your swelling breast? So, just wondering how long will it be before the SLT is rammed through and all wrapped up, since Brownie is throwing all this easy money around "fixing" the states infrastructure? You know sheeples, we all must equally share in the burdens in these times of financial hardship. Almost all of us, just so long as the super rich are not required to draw their own bath water and feeling so overtasked from the burden of creating all those jobs. Relaaaax, the free market will take care of everything. Seriously, never forget this one piece of eternal truth and wisdom: Math. Yes, Math is the answer to all of our worries and troubles and all questions are answered through The Big Calculator in the Sky. Math - the great equalizer.

pace 6 years, 4 months ago

No one would ever call Koch bros sugar daddies. They have an incredible amount of mispays/unpays and underpays to their own stock holders. They are known as uncaring chiselers. I know of one woman trying to get her late husbands funds owed. She has applied, presented documents. Each time , a new agent or voice mail and thousands in Koch hands ticking out the interest for the wealthiest. A merrygoround and every time it turns , the Koch's keep someone else's dime.

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