Renovations at the Capitol nearing completion

After more than two years of renovation and reconstruction on the State Capitol, the Minnesota Department of Administration has set a substantial completion date for December 31.

The State plans for the City of St.  Paul to issue an occupancy permit for January 1.

It means that the Minnesota legislative session will be able to start as planned on January 3

Chris Guevin, Department of Administration Plant Management Director told the Capitol Security Committee on Tuesday that the public will still see workers completing what he called "punch list" items after it opens.

“There are going to be things to clean up,” Guevin said. “Things that need to be corrected as a result of some damage that might have occurred while work was going on, something might need to be adjusted in the building. There’s going to be a lot of that going on through next spring.” 

Capitol tours by the Minnesota History Center will start up once again on January 3 as will full access to the public.

The Capitol has been undergoing a $310 million renovation to restore the building to its original glory as designed by architect Cass Gilbert.  The prime contractor, J.E. Dunn, is also installing a modern ventilation system, new wiring, and creating new public gathering spaces.

In the coming weeks, the public will start seeing substantial progress on the outside of the Capitol building.  By mid-October the shrouding and scaffolding will start coming down from the Capitol dome. On the inside, crews will also start disassembling 250,000 pounds of scaffolding in the rotunda that was used to install the ventilation ducts and restore the marble and artwork.

Landscaping will wait until next spring and crews will also start taking out the temporary parking lots that were built on the Capitol Mall to accommodate the construction.  Work on the copper roof of the building will continue into the fall of 2017.

Once the public gets a chance to get inside, Guevin believes they will like what they see. 

“I think they’re going to be impressed by how bright it’s going to look in there, because the paint, the artwork is going to be restored," he said. "The decorative paint will have been cleaned and restored. So it will be much brighter.”