JACKSON, Miss– Walking into the capitol building, you won’t just hear the echoing footsteps, nor will you only see the marble floors and columns. You’ll see plywood, caution tape, ladders and hard hats as the Capitol gets a little work done.
It’s been over three decades since the last renovation at the state capitol.
“From 1979 to 1982, the biggest renovation took place here,” says Brenda Davis, curator for the Department of Archives and History. Davis oversees the renovation and preservation of the capitol building.
“The building was actually closed for three years, and the legislature met at Central High School,” Davis says that’s when she was brought in to make sure the building never had to close again.
The three year project that ended in 1982 cost the state a cool $19 Million. These renovations, expected to last up to two years, only cost about $7.4 million.
“It’s definitely not the most expensive project that’s been done,” says Davis.
Though most of the work is to restore the cosmetics of the grand capitol, there’s also repair work being done.
“Water is a big issue,” says Davis, “we’re lucky the building is built so well, that the damage is mostly cosmetic, minimal.”
But Davis says it’s still a call for repair, no matter how minor.
“When it rains and you’re having to set out the garbage cans to catch the leak, you don’t want that in your state capitol,” says Davis.
The project is expected to be complete late 2015 or early 2016, just in time for the state’s bicentennial celebrations in 2017.
“This building is beautiful and belongs to the people,” says Davis, “that’s why these repairs are so important.”
Photos by Chip Ward.