Kansas lawmakers have approved another $38 million of state bonds to continue an ongoing $285 million renovation of the 142-year-old Kansas Capitol. The additional bonds bring the total debt authorized for the effort to $249 million.

The bonds will be issued by the Kansas Development Finance Authority and supported by state appropriations. Kansas revenue bonds issued by KDFA are rated Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA by Standard & Poor’s.

Work on the project is about 75% completed. The top-to-bottom renovation is to be finished in June 2012.

The renovation effort was approved by the 2000 Legislature. The structure had not been extensively updated in almost 90 years, and its wiring and other systems were obsolete.

The first estimates predicted the effort would cost between $90 million and $120 million, but lawmakers added to the plan an underground parking garage, a visitor center, and additional offices in the basement.

Several legislators questioned the additional bonds in light of the state’s financial problems, but the project architect said it would cost an additional $30 million to halt the work.

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