Capitol survives upgrade, gripes

A $5.5 million renovation of the state Capitol that began four years ago is expected to be completed by 2013, but some lawmakers are concerned about how long the project is taking and the care going into the work.

“We pretty much don’t have any confidence in it,” state Sen. Billy Hewes, R-Gulfport, said during a recent legislative budget hearing.

Rick Snowden, director of the state Bureau of Buildings in the Department of Finance and Administration, told lawmakers he is comfortable with the work and his office is committed to maintaining historical standards.

“That building is one of our oldest and greatest treasures,” Department of Finance spokeswoman Kym Wiggins said. “There are no concerns with the ability to be able to (maintain the building’s historical integrity).”

The project, funded through state bonds, is being completed in phases. Bureau of Buildings records show a feasibility study was conducted in 2006. Wiggins said work started this year.

Clarion Ledger
9/28/10