- Associated Press - Saturday, October 22, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Restoration is about to start again at the Mississippi Capitol, and workers will soon be putting up scaffolding around the central dome of the building.

Laura Jackson, director of the state Department of Finance and Administration, says this is a continuation of the $7.4 million exterior work that began two years ago.

Crews will repair and replace terra cotta pieces that have deteriorated around the base of the dome. Roofing will also be replaced on that part of the building. This work is expected to take about a year, and the building will remain open to the public.

The Capitol opened in 1903, and workers started in 2014 on the most comprehensive restoration of the building since the late 1970s and early 1980s.

This multi-year restoration, including the work on the dome, is being led by the Jackson-based firm WFT Architects.

“The process of fabricating new terra cotta units to replace historic units is inherently exacting and time-consuming,” lead architect Lawson Newman said in a news release. “It will probably take about six months just to get the new units made.”

Also working on the project are Frontier Waterproofing, a masonry restoration contractor from Denton, Texas; Boston Valley Terra Cotta of Orchard Park, New York; and Mandal’s Roofing of Gulfport, Mississippi.

The Capitol restoration has included waterproofing to fight leaks that have plagued the building for years. Stained glass windows were removed and taken to a Jackson glass studio for thorough cleaning. The eagle atop the building was regilded with gold leaf.

To pay for the work, legislators approved $6 million in bonds during the 2010 session, another $900,000 in bonds during the 2013 session and nearly $1.4 million in cash during the 2014 session.

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