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Lawmakers Hike To Help Repair The Dome

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A 2010 image of the damage at the Capitol around the dome (credit: CBS)

A 2010 image of the damage at the Capitol around the dome (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4)- Colorado’s state Capitol dome is in desperate need of repair. State lawmakers said they haven’t come close to raising the money needed.

A campaign to sent text message donations has fallen short. The cost of the project has increased from $12 million to $17 million. So far, the state has raised $69,000.

“It represents democracy in this state to me and many others,” said state architect Larry Friedberg. “In 2006, a piece of cast iron dislodged from the ceiling.”

The ten pound chunk of falling iron led to a thorough examination of the building, where experts found rust damage from the roof to the dome.

“There are other pieces showing signs of dislodging. The longer we wait, the more the deterioration continues,” said Friedberg.

Lawmakers secured $4 million from the State Historical Fund. They took another $4 million from the fund this year.

“Even in the best of years they can’t all be funded. So this has made it very, very difficult,” said Colorado Preservation Inc. spokesman James Hare. “It’s gotten to the point where state-owned buildings actually take more money from the fund than the rest of the communities in Colorado get to utilize. That’s the major problem.”

Lawmakers toured the dome Wednesday, pointing out spots in need of repair.

“We have a problem here and we have a challenge and we’re hoping to find a solution, that’s really what this building is all about,” said Rep. Cherylin Peniston, D-Westminster.

A new public awareness campaign is being launched through schools and on television called “Share in the Care Colorado.” The goal is to fund repairs privately and allow the grant money to be used on other projects.

More than a dozen lawmakers will lace up their hiking boots to summit two 14ers next week to raise awareness and money for the project.

Those who wish to donate $10 to the state Capitol dome project can text the word “DOME” to 50555.

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