Old stained glass in SD Capitol to be restored
PIERRE (AP) -- Work will begin later this month on a $2.7 million project that will restore the century-old stained glass in South Dakota's Capitol building, a state official said Thursday.
The four large skylight installations in the Capitol rotunda dome, above the House and Senate chambers and above the grand marble staircase between the second and third floors, will be removed, restored and reinstalled. The project will start July 29 and is to be completed by the fall of 2014.
Paul Kinsman, commissioner of the state Bureau of Administration, said a recent assessment found problems caused by age, gravity, original material and design weakness in the stained glass installed in 1909.
"The glass is bowing badly enough in spots that it could fail if it's allowed to get much worse," Kinsman said in a written statement. "We've done spot repairs over decades, and even those fixes are now failing.
Funding for the project will come from the Bureau of Administration's fund for maintenance and repair.
Kinsman said each of the 199 large panels of stained glass will be removed and shipped to Conrad Schmitt Studios near Milwaukee, where they will be dismantled. The glass pieces will be repaired and re-leaded, and the panels will be rebuilt. New structural supports will be added to ensure long-term strength before the panels are reinstalled.
Conrad Schmitt Studios, which has done similar restoration projects around the country, joined with Sharpe Enterprises of Pierre to submit the winning proposal for the project.
The stained glass in the rotunda dome will be removed this summer, which will cause some of the Capitol's second floor to be closed in July and August. The stained glass over the House and Senate chambers and the vault over the grand staircase will be removed next year.
Kinsman said the goal is to complete the project by South Dakota's 125th anniversary of statehood on Nov. 2, 2014.