Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Concrete Piece Falls from Oklahoma Capitol into Basement Office -- Will the Legislature Fund Repairs to the Capitol NOW?

The dome on the Capitol with the Guardian statute looks really nice but I have to question if the feasibility study that was done by a company that doesn't design domes was the right fit.  Because now for the first time a piece of concrete has entered an office and there is still no solution to funding the Capitol exterior renovation.  Are Republicans afraid of what might be found?

Here is a picture of the Capitol with the Dome:

This is one of the few pictures I could find of the Oklahoma Capitol without the Dome:

Cannot remember since the dome went on when entrances to the State Capitol were not shut down due to the danger of falling concrete -- now a four pound piece of concrete fell into a basement office through the roof.  Will this be enough to get the Oklahoma Republican Legislature off the dime or are they waiting for a 100 lb piece to fall?  Still cannot get over they spent millions to cosmetically renovate the inside of the Capitol last year knowing they had a structural problem along with wiring and sewer. If Oklahoma doesn't have some of the most hard headed legislators in the Country, I don't know what qualifies.  This is beyond disgusting that this State Capitol building has been allowed to fall in such disrepair including poor wiring and water/sewer problems but spend millions to remodel offices and get new furnishings.  Talk about stupid.

Why did Governor Keating insist on the new dome before the other problems were fixed?  Would like to know if the dome could be contributing to the problems with the building shedding concrete which many of us have said in the past but what do we know.  It just makes common sense something that is lacking in a lot of Republicans today.
Frankfurt-Short-Bruza Associates P.C. (FSB), Oklahoma City, completed a feasibility study for the project in 1998 that determined that the existing structure could support the 5- million-lb, 157-ft-high x 80-ft-dia dome. Once the feasibility study was completed, the Oklahoma legislature, through a special act, allowed the project to go forward using design-build. It was the first design-build project authorized by the state. FSB provided architecture and engineering services and two of the state's oldest construction companies, Flintco Inc. and Manhattan Construction, entered into a joint venture as Capitol Dome Builders, Oklahoma City. It was unanimously selected by the state in 2000.
Although FSB had never before designed a classic dome, Schmidt says the firm has experience in designing long-span structures, especially engineering airplane hangars with long, column-free spaces. The firm completed its design for the dome in 2001 using Layton's old drawings as a template. However, FSB incorporated modern materials into its design, which cut the weight of the structure from an estimated 14 million lb to 5 million lb. A structural steel framework largely was responsible for the reduction. It was designed for fast and easy placement and a "wagon wheel" of additional steel provided a temporary platform for interior and exterior scaffolding. It later was removed through the windows of the dome. 
Details on the Guardian statute that tops off the dome:
‘The Guardian,” which is the name of the statue, has a total weight of 5,980 pounds and a total height, including the lance and berm, of 22 feet, 9 inches. It took 3,000 hours, 300 linear feet of welding, 4,000 pounds of bronze and approximately $300,000 to create. 
Did the State Government ever consider they might want to get a second opinion from an out-of-state contractor about the feasibility of putting a 5 million lb structure on top of an 89 year old limestone building?  Did we have falling concrete before the dome?  Maybe the money should have been spent to upgrade the entire capitol before putting on the dome.  Just a thought!
Piece of concrete falls in latest problem at nearly century-old Oklahoma state Capitol 
Four-pound piece of concrete falls near desk sometime over the weekend at the Oklahoma state Capitol 
by Rick Green Published: May 12, 2014
A four-pound piece of concrete fell through a ceiling tile and into a basement office at the state Capitol sometime over the weekend, in the latest problem at the nearly century-old building. 
Building management officials say nobody was hurt in the House media office where the accident occurred. 
The concrete piece landed near a desk, where the person who works in the office found it Monday morning. 
This is in the same general area where a floor drain backed up recently, sending smelly water up through the floor. 
The Oklahoma Legislature is considering proposals this session to fix longstanding problems in the building. 
Four House media employees will be moved out of their basement offices and into a new location on the first floor of the Capitol.

How is the OK Legislature going to fund the necessary repairs to the Capitol or are they going to punt again to the next legislature like usual.  Term limits cannot come soon enough for the social conservatives who don't want to fund anything but social issues.  They have cost this state millions in bills that have been overturned by the Courts and keep coming back back with more bills that get a priority.

Even though the State has an almost $200M shortfall, the GOP Legislature made sure they had time to pass a tax cut that could kick in in 2015 and cost the state another $200M.  Hate to call a legislature stupid but frankly any group that listens to ALEC instead of the citizens of the state qualify.

They have made a mess of education as we are witnessing, our infrastructure is falling apart, and we have an unfinished Indian Cultural Center because today's hard right in the Legislature rejected the agreement for the legislature to help fund from a previous legislature.  That means the word of the legislature is worth zero, zip, nada to the next group of elected officials.

Oklahomans need to wake up and oust the hard right social conservatives from the legislature and return some common sense to Oklahoma starting with the Governor's Office.  If you have never voted for a Democrat in Oklahoma how about going all in and voting for one for Governor who represents all Oklahomans not just the wealthy, oil and gas, The Chamber, and ALEC.  Let's give Joe Dorman a chance!  There is only one way for Oklahoma to go for Governor as we are at rock bottom with the current Governor and her 'my way or no way' attitude.

1 comment:

  1. Let's just be honest here, Susana Martinez and Mary Fallon are the gifts that just keep on giving.