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Urdahl appointed to second term on Minn. Capitol restoration panel

ST. PAUL — Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, has been appointed to a second term on a commission that is coordinating a restoration project at Minnesota’s Capitol, which was built in 1905.

The Capitol Preservation Commission began the restoration process by obtaining $44 million in last year’s capital investment bill toward the total cost estimate of $240 million. The group may seek $109 million in bonding this year to keep the project on track.

The range of projects include repairing the leaky roof dome, restoring aging artwork, improving deficient electrical and plumbing systems and securing crumbling marble on the building’s exterior.

“If we do a bonding bill this year, I hope money for continuing this project is included,” said Urdahl in a news release. “This is the people’s house and, as far as I’m concerned, it is one of the most important buildings in Minnesota. We need to keep the roof from leaking and keep our restoration project going before our Capitol falls into a further state of decay.”

The commission was established through legislation authored by Urdahl as chairman of the House Legacy Division in 2011-12. It is chaired by Gov. Mark Dayton and includes 22 members, a mix of legislators, at-large citizens and other officials.

A behind-the-scenes video provides images of the Capitol’s deteriorating infrastructure. Log on to and enter “Capitol restoration tour” in the search field to view the footage. The pertinent footage begins at the 18-minute, 45-second mark.

“Many people see the Capitol from afar and think everything looks just fine with the building,” Urdahl said. “This video provides some very telling footage, allowing people to see exactly why this restoration project is necessary.”