A major construction project will soon begin at the state capitol building in St. Paul, but the plan that was laid out on Monday morning took even Gov. Mark Dayton by surprise.
"It's going to be miserable -- for you, for me, for everybody who needs to function here," Dayton admitted. "It's going to be like a major highway project. You've got to get through that disruption."
That's how Dayton described the upcoming renovation after the Restoration Committee meeting, and he admits that he was caught a bit off-guard when he first saw the full plan would put all employee parking in the construction work zone.
"We never discussed this to my knowledge," Dayton said of the plan to pave parts of the mall.
Although Dayton did say he was "taken aback," he conceded that he ultimately understood why.
Some work has already begun to restore the exterior stone on the east wing of the building, and the employee parking on the northeast corner has already been commandeered by the construction.
On Monday, FOX 9 News learned the northwest lot will serve as construction staging too -- as will Aurora Avenue in front of the Capitol.
One of the pictures shown to the Restoration Committee showed Utah's state capitol building during its renovation gave a glimpse of how big of a mess it will eventually become, and that's why parking lots will be built on the mall.
The planners promise the lots will be temporary, and they insist the trees will not be cleared, contrary to some fears.
Outside the building, the stone will be repaired as the windows and roof are replaced. Inside, a full renovation will also involve tearing out walls, which is why Dayton expects it to be distracting.
"We're going to disrupt ourselves for the next two, three years willingly for the sake of the people that are really going to follow behind us," he said.
The $272-million project will begin in the fall and is expected to take three years to complete. The Restoration Committee will meet again in two weeks.