OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahomans are getting a peek at the progress being made on the renovations at the State Capitol.
“I love that the capitol does not belong to any one person. It belongs to Oklahomans,” he said at a ribbon-cutting for the now-complete visitor’s entrance Wednesday. “Oklahoma, this is your office.”
Governor Kevin Stitt says the eight-year $275 million project is 90% complete and he expects it to be complete by mid-2022.
“Visitors to the Capitol had to walk through that gosh-darn ugly east door entrance. It was not inviting. It was like walking through someone’s garage to get into their house,” said Steve Mason, Chairman of the State Capitol Restoration Expenditure Oversight Committee.
Inside the new visitor’s entrance – a marble floor featuring all 77 counties, two security lines and a smaller scale version of The Guardian that stands atop the Capitol’s dome.
“It is absolutely top 10 if not number one in the country,” said Stitt.
If you don’t come to the State Capitol often, or maybe even if you do, you know it can be hard to navigate – but starting next month, interactive touch screens will be ready help you out with that.
All part of the eight-year makeover of the capitol by JE Dunn Construction and Manhattan Construction.
“It represents what it truly means to be an Oklahoman,” said Craig Abbott, Vice President of Manhattan Construction.
Some criticized the $275 million project before it was passed – saying the money should have gone to education. Stitt says he believes the new features at the Capitol will educate and inspire the next generation.
“It makes me smile to think of all the young Oklahomans who will enter through these doors and maybe one of them will stand on the State Capitol steps and be sworn in as Governor,” he said.