Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 18, 2009
Senator Harry Coates
Capitol Centennial Commemoration and Preservation Act
Headed to Full Senate
The Oklahoma State Capitol is quickly approaching
the centennial of its official opening in 1917. To help commemorate
the centennial and ensure the building is ready for its next century,
State Sen. Harry
Coates has authored Senate Bill 482. Rep. Liebmann will co-author
the legislation which would create the Oklahoma State Capitol
Centennial Commemoration and Preservation Act.
"Our Capitol has tremendous significance in the history of
our great state, and it's our job to preserve the integrity and
architectural beauty of the building but at the same time do what
we can to turn it into a 21st century capable structure,"
said Coates. "We have to remember that while this is a historic
building and the people's building, it's also the home of the
executive and legislative branches of our state government."
Coates, who has 40 years of experience in the construction industry,
pointed out that many of the buildings main components such as
the wiring and piping are original from 1917. There are also problems
with some of the buildings newer additions including malfunctioning
elevators and an inefficient heating and air system among others.
"The truth of the matter is that the Capitol has fallen into
a state of disrepair - from the electrical to the plumbing to
the exterior masonry - from a lack of funding for the upkeep and
maintenance. We have all kinds of construction issues with the
Capitol building,” said Coates. “If we don’t
take steps in the very near future, in the next year or two, to
make the repairs to the outside, especially to the weatherproofing
envelope of the building including the masonry, it doesn’t
matter what kind of money we spend on the interior it will all
be for not because we didn’t adequately protect the building
from the elements.”
A commission will be created to prepare and implement a master
plan to make capital improvements to the State Capitol and grounds.
The master plan will include a timetable and budget for completion
of all parts of the plan. The master plan may include among other
projects and activities:
• interior and exterior renovations to the Capitol and grounds
• publications, films, and other educational materials
• bibliographical and documentary projects
• conferences, lectures, seminars, and other programs
• exhibits, including but not limited to, a centennial commemorative
painting and mobile exhibits
• ceremonies and commemorations
An initial draft of the plan must be submitted to the Governor,
Pro Tem and Speaker by January 1, 2010 and the finalized plan
by January 1, 2011.
"We as citizens must remember that this is the people's house
and, therefore, the responsibility of maintaining and protecting
this building falls to every Oklahoman." said Liebmann, R-Oklahoma
City. "Our Capitol has been nationally-recognized for excellence
in public building design and construction so it's important that
we do all we can to protect this beautiful piece of our history
as well as get it ready for its next century."
Membership of the commission will include the Governor and all
living former governors, along with the Lt. Governor, Pro Tem
of the Senate, Speaker of the House and numerous others. They
will also be responsible for planning the festivities for the
State Capitol's centennial celebration.
The bill also authorizes the creation of a not-for-profit corporation
to raise funds and to assist in the implementation of the master
plan in relation to the centennial commemoration of the State
Capitol in 2017.
SB 482 will next be heard by the full Senate.
For more information contact:
Sen. Coates' Office: 405-521-5547