CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Charleston construction company is the low bidder on a project to repair the dome at the state Capitol.
Wiseman Construction Inc. submitted a bid of $10,930,638. The bid still must be evaluated by state officials before it is approved.
Pullman Power of Columbia, Md., bid $13.5 million. Paramount Builders of St. Albans bid $15,925,687.
State officials originally had estimated the repair might cost about $8 million.
Documents submitted on behalf of Wiseman Construction show the company has been involved with prior work on the Capitol dome, including a $4.8 million restoration job in 2004-05 and a $1.5 million interior restoration job in 1995-96.
The company also completed a $3.1 million Capitol perimeter safety project in 2015. And it completed a $2.8 million job on the masonry and dome at Charleston’s First Presbyterian Church in 2007-2009, among other jobs over the years.
A cabling system that enables the outer dome to hold up the inner dome through tension has weakened over the years and needs to be replaced, state officials have said. The tensioning system was last replaced about 20 years ago.
The issue became apparent several months ago. Pipes designed to catch water from the outer dome have deteriorated and caused damage to the interior Rotunda. Some of the damage is visible and some is not. It’s a safety issue, state officials have said.
The work ahead will likely include an elaborate scaffolding system on the inside of the Capitol along with some equipment placed on the outside of the dome.
The Rotunda area inside the Capitol is likely to be blocked off. The lower Rotunda is a traditional gathering place for community groups that gather during the regular session. Lobbyists often hang out at the upper Rotunda.