Sparkling chambers ready for legislators

Posted 1/7/20

When the General Assembly opens its 2020 session today, members will be greeted by the smell of new carpeting, fresh paint, new chairs and an improved sound system. There also won't be a leak directly about the Senate president's rostrum, or for that

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Sparkling chambers ready for legislators

Posted

When the General Assembly opens its 2020 session today, members will be greeted by the smell of new carpeting, fresh paint, new chairs and an improved sound system. There also won’t be a leak directly about the Senate president’s rostrum, or for that matter in the House chambers.

Those have been fixed and a long with a remake of both venues that includes fresh stenciling and gilding of things gold.

Both chambers were undergoing final checks Monday as contractors tested today’s technology in settings true to their history.

The House of Representatives and the Senate will convene in their respective chambers at 4 p.m. to begin the work of the new legislative year.

Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) and President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) will gavel their chambers to order.

The opening day House session will be broadcast live by Capitol Television, which can be seen on Cox on Channels 15 and 61, in high definition on Cox Channel 1013, on Full Channel on Channel 15 and on Channel 34 by Verizon subscribers. The Senate session will air immediately afterward. Both sessions will also be live streamed at www.rilegislature.gov/CapTV.

Both legislative bodies will meet in chambers that have been renovated to bring them up to safety codes, improve sound and technology and restore paint colors and other details to the way they were originally designed when the building was constructed at the dawn of the 20th century.

“The State House is one of the most beautiful buildings in all of Rhode Island, and it was created to be a lasting monument to the achievements of our state. We are very proud to be honoring that concept with this careful, thoughtful renovation, which brings it back to its original splendor, while incorporating the safety, technology and accessibility features that modern public buildings demand,” House Speaker Mattiello said of the $2.5 million restoration program that went into gear immediately following adjournment in June.

Senate President Ruggerio said in a statement, “This project represents long-overdue updates and preservation that will make the chambers more functional while also improving their beauty and historical accuracy. We are very grateful for the cooperation and hard work of the collaborating agencies, particularly the historical preservation groups. This is one of the most exciting and rewarding renovation projects we’ve embarked upon at the State House. When it was built, our State House was considered a masterpiece that served as the inspiration for many other states capitols. It’s our duty and also a pleasure to maintain its beauty and preserve its historical integrity so that every generation will be able to experience the same sense of awe and majesty that Rhode Islanders have enjoyed in our State House since 1904.”

The project was a collaborative effort between the Joint Committee on Legislative Services (JCLS), the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) and the State House Restoration Society (SHRS).

The project included replacing the chambers worn carpets and drapes, which were last replaced in 2002 and 1988, respectively. Legislator’s desks were restored for the first time in decades, and their chairs were replaced with functional, historically appropriate new models. The public galleries, leaking and broken skylights and rostrums were repaired, and the chambers were painted with colors selected by the State House Restoration Society to be as close as possible to the original shades found under layers of paint. In the House, the new paint helps make the 10 original mural-like tapestries depicting an elaborate floral scene look more vivid. In the Senate, gold lettering has been added to the state seals of the 13 original U.S. states, making them more visible near the ceiling at the front of the chamber.

The more extensive improvements made in the off-session are less visible, although some will be audible. Both chambers sound systems have been improved with new speakers and microphones. A new hearing loop system, which transmits sound electronically to t-coil hearing aids and all cochlear implants, has been installed in both chambers, making Rhode Island the first state capitol in the country to have both of its legislative chambers and its public galleries equipped with permanent large area hearing loops, according to David Abell, a volunteer hearing loop advocate with the Rhode Island State Office of the Hearing Loss Association of America, who supported the project. Hearing loops were installed in other rooms of the State House in 2016, but could not be installed in the chambers without removing the carpeting, which was replaced as part of this project.

The renovation also included considerable improvements to technology, including added layers of safety for the voting systems and a full update of both chambers antiquated electrical systems, which have had only piecemeal repairs and updates since the building opened nearly 120 years ago. The updates will at last bring the wiring up to code and improve the safety of the public, the members and the building.

JCLS and the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, which is responsible for the building, managed the project together. All elements of the project were publicly bid and the contracts were awarded to three companies, all in Rhode Island: Vision 3 Architects and E.F. O’Donnell & Sons Co., Inc., both of Providence; and Drapery House of North Providence.

Comments

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Ben Dover

You should be meeting in the mausoleum at Roger Williams park. Thanks to you and the queen of Raimondi, you have buried this State financially, permanently. When are you going to legalize prostitution, as gambling, pot, hemp and truck tolls are not going to cut it...Pass the crack pipe.....

Tuesday, January 7
justanidiot

lipstick on a herd of swine.

Tuesday, January 7
Liberman

5 new articles added since this morning 1/7 and not one on the newest fire department contract ratified last night. Hmmm....

Tuesday, January 7
John Simoneau

Because, NO STORY HERE, John Howell was given a proclamation, by the City Council before the vote, by Donna Travis. She is one of his pals, and one of 5 rogue Council members that rushed through and voted yes on this sham of a WFD contract last night. Travis is the same Council person that I had complained about ethics violations to the RI Ethics Commission in 2016. She was found guilty. Howell was given all the documents and proof of violations 6 months before and HE DID NOTHING WITH. She was later found guilty also by the RI Elections Board for election financial irregularities. She is corrupt. In the pocket of the City Unions, and needs to go in November 2020.

REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER. TRAVIS, HOWE, MCCALLISTER, SINAPI, MCELROY, and MAYOR, all sold out the City and their constituents last night and ALL HAVE TO GO IN NOVEMBER!

Tuesday, January 7
bill123

I’m still waiting for the story with the headline “Sparkling annex ready for administrators”

Recall that a pipe sprung a leak in early Jan 2018, purportedly rendering the entire city hall annex uninhabitable. This situation has existed for almost 2 years, and counting. At the time, it was supposed to be cleaned up in 2 to 6 weeks. The “basic cleanup” was reported as completed. Curiously, tax assessor Christopher Celeste suddenly resigned just a few days before the water leak occurred, and the leak affected primarily the assessor’s office. Then just a few months later, republican Mayor Avedisian resigned. It is curious he, as a republican, delayed his departure long enough so his supposed democrat rival could directly step in as mayor, avoiding an election. (http://warwickonline.com/stories/mayor-takes-breath-to-analyze-future-of-city-hall-annex,131757)

Saturday, January 11
bill123

Incidentally, no one should hold their breath for an election, thinking that will change things. Elections are pretty solidly rigged. The swamp uses multiple techniques. The modern programmable voting machines offer the latest and most insidious technique, which corrupt insiders can exploit, and no one is paying attention. If you search for it, you will find nothing more than propaganda on the subject, by minions of the Rhode Island swamp. Don’t believe election day recounts would expose this, because the laws governing recounts are crafted such that it is extremely unlikely the actual paper ballots would ever be touched. RI has equipment from ES&S, discussed here: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/chinese-parts-hidden-ownership-growing-scrutiny-inside-america-s-biggest-n1104516

Saturday, January 11