Archive for Monday, August 27, 2012

End is near?

Kansas taxpayers have reason to hope that the opening of the Capitol rotunda next month marks the beginning of the end for the costly Statehouse renovation project.

August 27, 2012


If you’re going to be in Topeka next month, you might stop in the Kansas Capitol building to get a look at how some of your hard-earned tax dollars were spent by state lawmakers.

The first week in September, construction workers are scheduled to start removing the temporary walls that have closed the rotunda of the Kansas Statehouse off from the public since 2008. State Architect Barry Greis said the crews will start on the fifth floor and work their way down; the last of the temporary walls should be down by Sept. 21.

Work on the rotunda was part of the overall renovation of the Capitol, the total cost of which is expected to reach at least $391 million. For that amount of money, we certainly hope the newly unveiled rotunda will be beautiful sight to behold. Be sure to notice the new chandelier, which reportedly cost $296,000, hanging from the Capitol dome.

The longer this project has gone, the more it has cost state taxpayers.

The best news about the rotunda unveiling is that it indicates the interior renovation of the Capitol is nearing completion. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the roof of the Capitol dome, which is undergoing about $20 million in repairs to its copper shell and underlying wood structure.

Of course, it makes no sense, after spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the Statehouse renovation, to allow it to be damaged by a leaking roof, but that’s the kind of thinking that has turned what initially was envisioned as a $90 million renovation into one that cost closer to $400 million.

Legislative leaders who have approved the ever-growing list of expenditures even amid tough economic times across Kansas and the nation have continued to insist that state taxpayers will think their money was well-spent once they see the end results. Based on the tremendously successful renovation work done in the Senate and House chambers, there is reason to believe the restoration of the rotunda will be equally stunning.

The Kansas Statehouse is likely to become a popular tourist attraction, receiving national attention for its beauty and historic preservation, along with the excellence of the craftsmen who designed, engineered and completed the renovation — as costly as it was.


somebodynew 5 years, 8 months ago

And NOW we get to raid KDOT funds to build a $12 MILLION dollar visitor's center !!!!!!!! Most (if not all) houses don't cost that much. Must be planning on A LOT of vistors..

Oh, but I guess we can just lay off more KDOT workers and other State employees and let our roads go to cr((. Those visitors don't need to drive here to see this beauty - they can just fly. Oh, wait - - the closest real airport is in KC. Maybe then can just levitate to to Capitol Building.

Getaroom 5 years, 8 months ago

This is Brownbackwards showcase for what is yet to come, more entitlements for his super rich cronies and the faux religious clan, who need a quiet prayerful place to get away from "it all" and discuss "legitimate rape" in privacy. It is so comforting to know Oligarc Brownie is taking care of his own kind and doing it so well - NOT!

That is the kind of False Hope No Change we have come to expect from our very own Oligarc by golly and he does not disappoint.

Phoghorn 5 years, 8 months ago

I have my issues with Brownback too, but this renovation started Waaayyy before he came into office. I think it has spanned at least three administrations now.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

This is the kind of thing that drives me nuts!

How can R claim to be the fiscally responsible ones when they spend $400 million on nonsense like this, and in such a stupid way - fix the **** roof first, then the inside, folks - it's not rocket science.

And, in a recession, don't spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a chandelier, for God's sakes!

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

Republicans have been in charge of the legislature in KS for as far back as I can recall, so I can in fact blame this sort of irresponsible spending on them.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 8 months ago

Should have fixed the roof FIRST. Who do you have prioritizing the Renovation? That is like putting new tires and a paint job on a vehicle with a blown motor. Geez!

gccs14r 5 years, 8 months ago

Next we'll find out that the foundation has failed.

Orwell 5 years, 8 months ago

When all you awestruck tourists visit Kanadu be sure to check out the brand-new men's room in the basement with the beautiful hardwood stalls. Talk about your "core functions of government…"

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