Panel advances plan to fix Capitol

An advisory panel sent a report to the state Legislature today calling for a $241 million renovation of the Minnesota Capitol Building.

Members of the capitol preservation commission did not recommend how to pay for the project. The report outlined scenarios using up to three bonding bills to cover the full cost. Republican Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem raised concerns about the estimated price tag. Senjem said he’d prefer taking an incremental approach to the needed renovations.

“In my view you ought to probably take a look at the outside shell first,” Senjem said. “Let’s get the thing stabilized, and beyond that let’s incrementally look at the systems and find out what the priorities are. Whether it’s ventilation, whether it’s electric whether it’s office space or whatever. Make some assessments of that, or decisions on it, and kind of incrementally move through this.”

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton said the bonding proposal he’ll unveil next week will not include the Capitol renovation, because that document is already at the printer. But Dayton said he hopes the Legislature considers at least part of the project during the 2012 session.

“We have to act,” Dayton said. “I think it’s clear that it’s a public safety menace for the people who work here and the public that visits here.”

Dayton said he would favor funding the renovation through no more than two bonding bills.

Comments are closed.