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Capitol dome project needs more work

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Engineers doing work on the state capitol dome project have found more damage and now additional interior clay tiles will have to be replaced, moving back the projected completion date for the multi-million dollar project.

Secretary Allan McVey

A change order of approximately $765,000 has been approved, according to state Department of Administration Secretary Allen McVey.

“The clay tiles that were of the original construction, there were more of those that needed to be replaced than what we thought. We had a feeling that might occur because of the water that was coming in,” McVey said.

The project has progressed to a point where engineers were recently able to get a better look at the interior of the dome and discovered additional damaged tiles.

“I think we’re at the point where they’ve been able to get in there and see exactly how much work we’re going to have to do,” McVey said.

The change order pushes the price of the project to $14.3 million.

The clay tiles are being replaced with carbon-filled block on the inside of the dome while work continues on the outside to sure up cracks in limestone blocks. The tile removal is labor intensive, according to McVey, with each individual tile removed and replaced with the new block.

The interior work is going to push the completion of the project back to the spring of 2021, McVey said.

“The contractor has given us a date of about April of 2021. They think they can have substantial completion done at least a month or a month and a half before then,” McVey said.

The original completion date was December 2020.

“The goal of this current change order is to allow the weight of the dome to rest on material that is reliable, cost-effective, and proven to be long lasting,” McVey said. “As with any building, proper maintenance is key in preserving it, especially with a historic and notable landmark like the West Virginia capitol building and its symbolic dome.”

Because of the ongoing work, the January 2021 gubernatorial inauguration will take place on the north side of the state capitol.

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