New statehouse would be wasteful

Published 11:59 pm Friday, May 8, 2009

Dear Editor,

A column piece in the Fri, May 1, paper caught my eye and really set my temper flaring. It was headlined, “House votes for new statehouse.” Duh; oh, really!

It seems that a bill placed on the floor by Democratic Rep. Richard Laird of Roanoke and passed by a 47-36 vote, would allow work to begin on a new statehouse behind the state capitol.

As a retired engineer/estimator/troubleshooter, I would guess that at today’s market, a building like that would cost upwards of $30 million to $50 million. That’s one hell of a lot of money to spend on a “classroom” full of “good ole boys” that can’t agree with each other on how to better people’s lives in the state of Alabama.

I think that this much money would be more helpful if used in the education system to buy such things as pencils and paper, uniforms for sports, matching funds for college programs, and for supplementing the “lunches for seniors” program that was cut in half this year, plus many, many more uses other than replacing a 46-year-old building that has a leaky roof and mold problems.

There are companies that can place a new “elastomaric or rubberized roofing system” over the existing roof to stop the leak, HVAC companies that clean and treat the ventilation system and update it, if needed, and seal-coat and painting companies that can come in and seal the exterior and interior to stop any future mold or mildew problems. I figure the estimated cost of those repairs would be $8 million to $10 million, at the most.

I would be most happy to offer my services to come look at the problem and offer my advice, and I know others who would be happy to bid on these repairs. With an election coming for some House members in 2010, I certainly hope that any and all of the 47 who voted “yes” will be replaced in their districts.

I hope that our own Speaker Hammett voted “no” and now that it is in the Senate, I hope that Sen. Holley votes “no.” I don’t know how many other people caught this article, but if enough of us complain to our representatives’ offices, we can stop useless and un-needed spending like this. Thank you for your time.

Steven A. Bryant