With the Rededication Celebration of the Idaho state capitol building less than thirty days away, the Capitol Commission, which is charged with overseeing the project, met for the final time before the unveiling to make final preparations.
It was reported to the commission the majority of the work, including the complete restoration of the core building and the addition of two new underground wings, was “substantially completed” on November 12, one day ahead of the projected completion date.
Work is still being performed in the building, as sub-contractors race to complete minor repairs that came as a result of the move-in process, which occurred last weekend. The commission plans to recover some repair costs from moving companies, though the commission recognized it would be difficult to pinpoint exactly which damages were caused by movers. One contractor reported that moving crews were “not overly friendly to the building during the move-in process.”
The $127 million dollar project looks to come in slightly under budget, with the total payout expected to be approximately $126,308,365. The bulk of the money went to the capitol restoration, which cost $85 million, and the addition of the two wings, which cost approximately $36 million. $5 million also went to furniture, fixtures, and equipment for the building.
The commission also made final preparations for the Rededication Celebration that will take place on January 7th, 8th, and 9th. The first two nights of the celebration will feature open house style receptions which will not be open to the general public, the first being for construction workers who helped in the construction process, the second being for lawmakers and their guests.
“It is a great opportunity for the workers…to share their work and craftsmanship with their children and families,” said Commissioner Sandy Patano.
The official Rededication Celebration will be held at noon on Saturday, January 9th, and will feature speeches from Gov. Butch Otter, House Speaker Lawerence Denney, and Senate President Pro Tem Robert Geddes. The event will be carried live on Idaho Public Television and may be covered by other media outlets. Attendees can expect a thirty minute ceremony which will mark the handover of the building from contractors to the state. The building will then be open to the public for self-guided tours the rest of the day. The commission has enlisted the help of hundreds of volunteers to work as stationary guides, providing onlookers with historical information about the building.
The ceremonies are expected cost around $130,000, $60,000 of which has come from private donations. The largest expense will be sound and staging costs, with those being expected at $30,000. The rest of the money will be consumed by invitation and program printing and mailing costs, as well as the cost of light refreshments for the two evening receptions.