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We join state officials in celebrating the completion of a five-year, $49.3 million project to renovate and preserve our Capitol building.

It started with the difficult task of finding the money. Lawmakers saw the need and made the difficult decision to fund the project through a bonding bill. The multi-phased project itself wasn't easy either, and it created barricades and a closed circle drive to the public at points.

As we recently reported, the first phase included repairs to the concrete substructure, building terraces and stonework where mortar or sealant had failed.

The second phase included renovation and repair of stone on the outside of the dome and drum (the area with columns between the dome and the main building), assessment and repair of stone facades, repair and replacement of sidewalks and stairs directly off the north drive, repair and restoration off balustrades, removal or replacement of spotlights and warning lights on the dome, and generally cleaning the entire exterior (including more than 340,000 square feet of stone). Ceres and other bronze statues also were restored, and structural repairs were made to the Senate Parking Garage.

A few projects remain, but the bulk of the work is done.

Gov. Mike Parson said: "I tell legislators all the time, if you're not humbled to be in here, if you're not humbled to be part of this, you shouldn't be here."

We agree, and we hope all Missourians are humbled when they drive by and when they step inside.

We have one of the most beautiful Capitol buildings in all of our nation, and this renovation will preserve it for future generations.

We commend everyone involved in the Capitol renovations, and we encourage local residents as well as Missourians to pay another visit to the people's building.

News Tribune

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