Skyrocketing project costs are giving critics fodder on the renovation of the Kansas Statehouse. Recent reports say that restoration of the building, which was completed in 1903, could cost as much as $340 million, triple the amount of early estimates.
Since renovation kicked off in 2001, reports the Kansas City Star, “results have often been stunning, with offices, committee rooms and hallways returning to rich colors and ornate patterns of decades past. The work also is giving the Statehouse modern heating, air-conditioning, water and fire safety systems. Legislators’ offices are less cramped, and better meeting rooms make events more accessible to the public.”
Like many states, though, Kansas faces a budget crisis that is forcing significant budget cuts. Critics charge that the statehouse renovation is too extravagant given the sacrifices that Kansans face.