State Capitol building in seven-year renovation

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LINCOLN, Neb (KOLN) The Nebraska State Capitol is an iconic figure on the prairie. But every so often, even a legend can use an update.

A seven-year, $100 million plan is underway to replace and weather-strip all of the windows, and add a closed-loop geothermal heating and cooling system. The plan used a state parking lot to the east of the building to drill a well field, which will serve the heating and cooling system.

In order to accomplish this grand plan, the Capitol Commission is working on one quadrant of the building at a time, followed by similar work on the center tower. Each of the five phases is scheduled to last about 18 months.

In this phase, 17 of Nebraska's 49 senators' offices have been relocated into the center tower. For some, this will be a temporary move, as after the 2019 Legislature elects its Speaker and Committee Chairs, more office shuffling will begin.

"In all, the members have been very understanding," says the Clerk of the Legislature Patrick O'Donnell. "It's time (to do this). Our current heating system is more than 50 years old."

O'Donnell recommends that, if you are coming to the Capitol to visit with a particular person, you should start by going to the kiosk in the center of the main floor, and someone will be there to guide you to your destination.