Jaron Wiley, a marble refinishing specialist for Dawson Construction, prepares the front of the Alaska State Capitol for scaffolding on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. The marble pillars, quarried in Tokeen, Alaska, will be sealed and ground smooth as part of the building’s remodeling project. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Jaron Wiley, a marble refinishing specialist for Dawson Construction, prepares the front of the Alaska State Capitol for scaffolding on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. The marble pillars, quarried in Tokeen, Alaska, will be sealed and ground smooth as part of the building’s remodeling project. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Capitol columns get some care

Here’s what’s going on.

Eye-catching fencing outside the Alaska State Capitol is there to mark off the site of a project.

The marble columns at the capitol will be sanded, restored and weather treated over the course of the next few months, wrote Executive Director for the Legislative Affairs Agency Jessica Geary in an email to the Empire.

Geary wrote that the total price of the project is $676,075 with $270,000 coming from the Juneau Community Foundation. The award was approved by Legislative Council on Feb. 25, 2019.

Jaron Wiley, a marble refinishing specialist for Dawson Construction, prepares the front of the Alaska State Capitol for scaffolding on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. The marble pillars, quarried in Tokeen, Alaska, will be sealed and ground smooth as part of the building’s remodeling project. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Jaron Wiley, a marble refinishing specialist for Dawson Construction, prepares the front of the Alaska State Capitol for scaffolding on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. The marble pillars, quarried in Tokeen, Alaska, will be sealed and ground smooth as part of the building’s remodeling project. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Work was just getting started Tuesday morning, but eventually scaffolding will be present at the site of the work, said Jaron Wiley, marble refinishing specialist for Juneau-based Dawson Construction, in a short interview at the capitol.

“They (the columns) are in the shape that I would expect them to be in,” Wiley said. “Marble is a porous material. Water and acid rain have an effect on the surface.”

Wiley pointed out the front of the columns, which faces the brunt of the weather, was far more coarse than the side of the column facing the building.

The marble pillars of the Alaska State Capitol are contrasted against the steel and glass of the Dimond Courthouse on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. The pillars, quarried in Tokeen, Alaska, will be sealed and ground smooth as part of the building’s remodeling project. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

The marble pillars of the Alaska State Capitol are contrasted against the steel and glass of the Dimond Courthouse on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. The pillars, quarried in Tokeen, Alaska, will be sealed and ground smooth as part of the building’s remodeling project. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

He said the columns will be sanded down, staining will be removed, cracks will be patched or filled in and they will be weather proofed.

The project is expected to be finished by October, Geary wrote.


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at 523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


Fencing is installed in front of the Alaska State Capitol on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. The marble pillars, quarried in Tokeen, Alaska, will be sealed and ground smooth as part of the building’s remodeling project. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Fencing is installed in front of the Alaska State Capitol on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. The marble pillars, quarried in Tokeen, Alaska, will be sealed and ground smooth as part of the building’s remodeling project. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

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