Capitol building undergoes structural maintenance

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For the past month crews have been working on the dome that sits on the top of the South Dakota Capitol building.

"This has been on our Capitol Complex Maintenance and Repairs list for years," said Kristine Schlomer, the Deputy State Engineer.

Driving through Pierre it's hard not to notice the work happening to the exterior of the capitol.

Crews are in the early stages of phase one of a five month project.

"Grinding out the mortar joints in between each of the stones and then replacing it with new mortar," Schlomer said.

Routine maintenance on the 110 year old structure is required, this project will help the building survive more South Dakota winters.

"The reason for doing that is it gives us a better weather proofing barrier on the building," said Schlomer.

The project also consists of cleaning the building.

"We use a sodium bicarbonate product, which is safe for the historic stone, the older stone," said Leah Svendsen, Special Projects Coordinator for the Bureau of Administration.

This project is necessary because as the building gets older, the more care it needs.

"We take special care to maintain it properly, which is why we've made it 110 years without actually doing this project yet," said Svendsen.

Even though the building is getting a face lift, the day to day operations will stay the same, and anybody wanting to visit can still do so.

"Still encourage visitors to come and to bring their families, there's lots of other things you can see, you can get a tour of the inside of the building, there's lots of cool things you can see on the exterior of the building, and other fun things you can do in Pierre," Svendsen said.

The work is scheduled to be finished by October 31st. The next project planned is the main portion of the building, which is scheduled to start in May.