Construction cranes are casting a shadow over the State Capitol area as the new, $89.5 million Senate office building takes shape and the $272.7 million Capitol restoration project continues.
Four months after surviving a legal challenge from a former state lawmaker, the four-story Senate building is rising up on a former surface parking lot framed by University Avenue, Park Street, Sherburne Avenue and Capitol Boulevard.
The project is nearly 10 percent finished and is on schedule for a December 2015 substantial completion, according to Curt Yoakum, spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Administration.
Golden Valley-based Mortenson Construction and St. Paul-based BWBR Architects are leading project team for the new building, which will house 67 senators and their staffs.
Work on the site began in early August. Last month, Mortenson pulled a $3.5 million permit for site prep, shoring and utilities, and a $5.5 million permit for footings and foundations, as reported by Finance & Commerce, sister publication of Capitol Report.
St. Paul-based Carl Bolander & Sons is the site prep contractor.
Jim Knoblach, a former Republican state legislator, sued late last year to stop the project, saying the approval process violated the state’s constitution. The legal challenge ended in June when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Knoblach would need to post an $11 million bond to continue the lawsuit.
The Capitol restoration, meanwhile, is moving along on the inside and out.
In the first week of November, the south façade marble will be measured for repairs, and newly installed windows will be tested for wind and water intrusion, according to a project update from the Department of Administration.
Main roof repairs are “wrapping up for the season,” while marble repair and restoration continues on the North and West Wing exteriors, the department said.
On the interior, underground work will pick up speed through mid-November. Work includes demolition, concrete slab removal in the basement, asbestos removal and installation of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
The department is warning Capitol occupants to be prepared for closed sidewalks, noise, and scaffolding on the outside of the building. On the interior, underground noise and vibration will be noticeable.
Kansas City-based JE Dunn is the construction manager for the Capitol restoration project, and Minneapolis-based HGA is the architect.
The restoration began last fall and is expected to wrap up in 2017. The project aims to restore crumbling exterior marble and stone, address safety concerns, replace outdate systems, and improve public spaces.