Work began this week to repair water damage at the historic Old Capitol Building in downtown Olympia.
This latest round of repairs will be done by the end of June.
Located on the east side of Sylvester Park, the 123-year-old building is now home to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The site was originally built as the Thurston County Courthouse, and served as the state Capitol from 1905 to 1928.
Portland architect Peter Meijer will continue the job he started in early 2014. At that time, Meijer’s team analyzed the building’s exterior and windows for water damage to the thick sandstone.
Water has damaged the mortar between the sandstone blocks that form the exterior walls, according to the state Department of Enterprise Services, which manages the building. The leaks were caused by inadequate weatherproofing — known as flashing — between the walls and roof. There are also drainage issues around the building’s foundation.
Repairs will depend on whether the state can get funding in next year’s capital budget, said Janet Knoblach, project manager. This current phase is expected to cost about $860,000.
In addition, buildings like the Old Capitol require ongoing maintenance because of the area’s wet climate.
“Buildings of that age that are built of sandstone need continuous intermittent upkeep,” Knoblach said.
The state has hired Olympia contractor Jones and Roberts for this spring’s project. Tasks include repairing gutters and roof flashing, replacing the garage and mechanical room roof, and repairing collapsed drain lines and water-damaged plaster.
The construction is expected to generate a lot of noise, and some parking stalls near the site may be closed, the state reports. Two sections of sidewalk on the building’s north side along Legion Way will be replaced.
In 2006 and 2007, repairs were made to the building’s exterior and roof at a cost of about $358,000, according to the state.