- Associated Press - Monday, January 11, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Construction has begun on the Nebraska statehouse’s four courtyards in preparation for the installation of several fountains.

Fountains were not a part of the original designs of the nearly century-old courtyards, according to Capitol Administrator Bob Ripley. So construction, such as laying down pipe, for the fountains poses many logistical challenges.

“This is a little bit like building a boat in a bottle,” Ripley said.

The construction equipment and debris removal will be routed through the building’s north central corridor, according to Ripley. All the concrete in the diagonal and circular walks will be taken out, up to the perimeter, to dig the foundation and put the piping in the ground.

Statehouse architect Bertram Goodhue’s original design called for placement of a fountain in each of the four courtyards within the building, but the fountains were never installed. All other elements, as designed by Goodhue, were completed.

The Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1Q0D7HZ ) reports that the addition of fountains and a set of murals had been delayed during the Great Depression. The murals were later added to the statehouse in 1996.

A budget bill passed in 2014 authorized the Capitol Commission to use $2.5 million from the state’s rainy day fund to install and maintain the fountains. Another $500,000 was added to the fund in 2015 with a transfer of money already appropriated to the Capitol Commission but unused. Ripley said Kingery Construction succeed in winning the project with its $2.7 million bid.

Ripley says the installation project should be done by the end of the year, in time for Nebraska’s 150th birthday.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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