Nevada lawmakers asked to OK work on Capitol and at Stewart | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada lawmakers asked to OK work on Capitol and at Stewart

Stewart Indian School is shown. Stewart Indian Complex is on the list for much needed renovations.
Jim Grant | Nevada Appeal

Lawmakers were asked Friday to approve a Capital Improvement Projects list that includes work on the Capitol building and the ritually neglected Stewart complex.

Deputy Public Works administrator Chris Chimits said the exterior repairs, restoration and rehabilitation work on the Capitol building and attached Annex is long overdue.

The proposed budget includes $1,875,964 for that work. The last major repairs were done in 1993. But much of the exterior columns, fascia and soffits haven’t gotten major attention since the entire building was remodeled in 1979. Chimits said the work includes repairs and renovation on the wooden doors, windows and other parts of the exterior. Some of those windows and doors are currently leaking.

It includes repointing the joints between the sandstone blocks that make up the Capitol’s structure as well as cleaning stains on the stonework.

In addition, mold and mildew on the building has to be cleaned.

The Capitol was remodeled in 1978 and 1979 when the interior was gutted. The seismic retrofit was a major part of that project. The sandstone blocks of the exterior walls were tied to a rebar skeleton and a concrete shell poured inside that to hold everything together.

Then crews put back much of the original interior including the marble floors, the original staircases and even the frieze depicting the state’s mineral, agricultural and natural resources that wraps around the walls of the first floor right below the ceiling.

There also are several projects for the Stewart complex at the southern Carson City border in the CIP budget. Stewart is the former Indian school that operated from 1890 until 1980 as a home and school for Indian youth from Nevada and across the west.

Sherry Rupert, head of the Nevada Indian Commission, said the work is much needed at Stewart.

The first project on that list is replacement and seismic stabilization of the roof of the historic Stewart Gymnasium. Chimits said it will cost an estimated $1,255,107 but must be done because, “you can see daylight through the thing.”

That doesn’t include seismic stabilization of the gym’s walls and foundation.

The most expensive project on that list is replacement of the domestic and fire water mains at Stewart at $2,925,215.

Chimits said the campus and its 68 buildings need about 300,000 gallons of water to meet needs including potential fire suppression. The existing tank is just 60,000 gallons and, because of its condition, can only be filled to about 40,000 gallons.

Rupert said the water system is badly needed but she’s also pleased completion of the phone and data network for $536,630 is on the list. She said a few years ago if she wanted to open a computer file larger than 1 megabyte, she had to go home to do it because service at Stewart was so weak.

She said that system will be important as the commission develops the cultural center at Stewart.

The other projects on the list are $682,306 to upgrade temperature control systems at the buildings there and $570,197 to upgrade electrical transformers, switches and metering on the campus.

Stewart is home not only to the Indian Commission but to a number of state agencies including public safety divisions and corrections.

Those projects are just a few of the construction, maintenance and planning projects Public Works is recommending for the upcoming biennium. Altogether, that list totals $344 million — $100 million more than the last CIP program in 2015.

The top priority projects are those required by law, court orders and those presenting life-safety issues. That list includes both the roof of the Stewart Gymnasium and demolition of the Kinkead Building a block east of the Capitol complex.