“Out with the old, in with the new,” Construction continues to move forward at the capitol

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Capitol is going through major changes and one of those is changing the very old electrical system.

“So out with the old, in with the new,” said Andrea Gossard, project manager with Manhattan Construction.

The capitol building is going through a major face-lift.

However, before crews can fix the appearance on the inside, they must change how the capitol generates its power.

“In about six months from now, we do have a major electrical shutdown that’s going to have to happen,” said Gossard.

For seven days in October, the Capitol will be sitting in the dark. That’s because construction crews are needing to change the building’s 70 year electrical system.

“All the fire alarm systems, security systems, access control, every bit of lighting, all that will actually be off to the Capitol,” said Gossard.

The new electrical system is constructed underground, whereas before, it was in the ceiling, and staff say that could be potentially dangerous.

Gossard says those who work in the building could see a slight difference.

“What you will notice though is that this building experiences a huge amount of power surges,” she said. “You’ll be sitting in your office and all of sudden the power will blink and your computer restarts and ‘oh no, what did I lose?’”

The biggest difference will be cost. All the light fixtures will have LED bulbs and unoccupied rooms won’t be heated or cool, which could result in a big break for taxpayers.

“The upgrade is significant, but again its stuff that you probably will not notice besides the power bill,” Gossard said.

If you’re waiting for all the of restorations to be done, you could be waiting a while.

“The interior restoration project isn’t scheduled to be completed until the year 2022,” said Trait Thompson, State Capitol manager.

Come October when the power shuts off, capitol employees will be relocated to other offices on the Capitol Complex.

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