HONOLULU (KHON2) — A vital resource at the State Capitol impacted by the ongoing problems with the reflecting pool according to the Speaker of the House Scott Saiki (D). Saiki said it’s “serious problem.”
Tarps lining ceilings in the hallway and shelves shrouded in plastic — from top to bottom –protecting valuable books and periodicals in the Legislative Reference Bureau Library (LRB) in the basement of the State Capitol.
“I was surprised by the extent of as to which the whole area had to be covered,” Saiki said.
The library, located on the Diamond head chamber level of the capitol, suffering the consequences of the leaking reflecting pools.
The Capitol was originally built back in 1969 and the reflecting pools that surround it were meant to symbolize the ocean. But Saiki said they’ve been an ongoing source of problems prompting the legislature to appropriate more than $33M for renovations.
“There have been attempts in the past to repair the ponds, we have not been successful,” Saiki explained. “So this appropriation, that $33 million that we set aside is one of the larger amounts because we need to we just need to resolve this once and for all.”
According to Saiki, work started a few months ago. The ponds were drained and the flooring was already torn-up and resurfaced, but the problem hasn’t been resolved yet.
A posting on the LRB website informs the public of reduced hours “Due to the State Capitol Pool Renovation Project, the LRB Library is experiencing multiple ceiling water leaks. Remedial efforts to mitigate damage to our collection and ensure the safety of staff and patrons…”
The renovations to the Capitol have received sharp criticism from the public. Many calling the millions earmarked to fix the pools a waste of money.
“I wanted the public to see what the extent of the damages at the Capitol and the reason why we need to fund the renovation project is a serious serious matter.”
Saiki said they hope the project is completed by the end of the year.