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Legislators to talk state Capitol restoration at CLC

Minnesota Reps. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, and Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, will headline two Rosenmeier forums at Central Lakes College in Brainerd to discuss the state Capitol restoration project.

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Minnesota Reps. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, and Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, will headline two Rosenmeier forums at Central Lakes College in Brainerd to discuss the state Capitol restoration project.

The public is invited to attend the sessions, which will take place at noon and 7 p.m., Sept. 16, in the college's Chalberg Theatre, 501 West College Drive.

Urdahl and Dean are members of the Capitol Preservation Commission, a 22-member panel which is overseeing a massive, $300-plus million refurbishing of the 110-year-old Capitol in St. Paul. The building's roof was leaking and the exterior was crumbling. Mechanical systems were outdated and deteriorating. Safety-related updates were necessary to comply with current building codes and adaptations were needed to provide full accessibility for people with disabilities.

"From afar, the Capitol looked as beautiful as always," Urdahl said in a news release. "But, in truth, decades of quick fixes and short-term patches left the building deteriorating to the point experts said we had to act now or never catch up. This is the people's house and it is one of the most important buildings in Minnesota. It is our duty to protect this Minnesota icon."

The Capitol Restoration Committee was established through legislation Urdahl authored in 2011 as chairman of the House Legacy Committee, a position Urdahl holds today. Work on the Capitol is scheduled for completion in 2017.

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Dean, an architect by trade, said it is important to honor the Capitol's stylistic integrity while the building is restored.

"Cass Gilbert's masterpiece stands as one of the finest capitols in the country and the finest public building in the state," Dean said. "We have a tremendous opportunity to restore the building and preserve her for the next century."

Rosenmeier executive director Steve Wenzel said the forum will help provide citizen taxpayers with more information regarding this project.

"We are most pleased to have a Rosenmeier forum on the subject of the restoration and preservation of the Minnesota State Capitol," Wenzel said. "Our beautiful State Capitol is the number one public building in Minnesota, and the fact that state taxpayers are investing $378 million in its restoration and preservation requires attention to the details of what the Restoration Commission is doing that will preserve our State Capitol building for another 100 or more years."

Eric Klang, president of the Rosenmeier Board of Directors, said the separate noontime and evening sessions were scheduled to provide more flexibility in attending.

"We are holding two forums on this most important topic so that both the students and the general public will be able to attend this forum, which we expect will be both informative and interesting," Klang said.

Contact Wenzel at swenzel@clcmn.edu or at 218-855-8073 for more information regarding the forums.

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Rep. Matt Dean
Minnesota House Majority Leader Matt Dean.

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