Delaware's Legislative Hall Opens to Public, State Releases Dama - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware's Legislative Hall Opens to Public, State Releases Damage Cost Estimate

Posted:
The walls of multiple hallways in Leg Hall are bare. (Photo: WBOC) The walls of multiple hallways in Leg Hall are bare. (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - The public got its first look inside Delaware's Legislative Hall Wednesday since a recent fire did what firefighters described as "extensive damage" to parts of the building as the state announced a cost estimate for that damage.

Leg Hall was open to the public for the first time since the fire three weeks ago. The Senate met for a special session in the afternoon to confirm cabinet and judicial nominations.

Looking around the capitol building, things are obviously missing. State officials have told WBOC about 160 objects, including paintings, were taken out for repair and restoration after the fire.

"It does feel a bit empty," said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Gary Simpson, R-Milford. "There are still bare walls, bare floors."

Sen. Simpson was in Leg Hall when the fire started.

"When I came out of my office out in the hallway, the hallway was just filled with a gray smoke, especially in front of the governor's office. It was just as thick as a fog," he said.

He got out OK as did everybody else.

The fire did the most damage to the office of the chief of staff for House Democrats. Windows to that office are cardboarded up. And that section of building is blocked off to the public.

But other parts of Leg Hall were in good enough shape for lots of staffers to return to work there two weeks ago.

"There have been a lot of clean up crews in and out of the building and making progress every day," said Mike Jackson, Delaware's deputy controller.

Repair equipment and materials are all over the place. They likely will be there for a while. And Sen. Simpson says something else is still in the building.

"There's still a little bit of a smoke smell that can notice. But pretty much, at least on the Senate side of the building, we're back in working order."

Leg Hall was open to the public just for Wednesday. It will be open again for budget hearings starting Monday. Regular public access will resume four days later.

The state Office of Management and Budget says the estimated cost of damages is $1.5 million. The state is self-insured so the repair costs will come from the state's self-insurance fund.

Costs include the cleaning of all smoke and fire damaged areas including the attic duct, as well as repairing and replacing anything damaged by water or smoke such as computers, artwork, and furniture at Leg Hall.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • No Home Confinement for Former Delaware Prison Guard

    No Home Confinement for Former Delaware Prison Guard

    Feb 23, 2018 5:07 PM2018-02-23 22:07:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 5:07 PM EST2018-02-23 22:07:14 GMT
    A federal judge says he has no authority to allow home confinement for a former Delaware prison guard sentenced to three years for smuggling drugs and cellphones to inmates.More
    A federal judge says he has no authority to allow home confinement for a former Delaware prison guard sentenced to three years for smuggling drugs and cellphones to inmates.More
  • Arrest Made in Smyrna-Cape 'Basketbrawl'

    Arrest Made in Smyrna-Cape 'Basketbrawl'

    Feb 23, 2018 4:56 PM2018-02-23 21:56:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 5:03 PM EST2018-02-23 22:03:53 GMT
    An arrest has been made after a fight broke out at the Smyrna High School and Cape Henlopen High School boys' basketball game Thursday night.More
    An arrest has been made after a fight broke out at the Smyrna High School and Cape Henlopen High School boys' basketball game Thursday night.More
  • Harrington Man Arrested for Involvement in Selling Heroin

    Harrington Man Arrested After Selling Heroin

    Feb 23, 2018 3:55 PM2018-02-23 20:55:00 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 4:03 PM EST2018-02-23 21:03:12 GMT
    Courtesy of Delaware State Police Courtesy of Delaware State Police
    Courtesy of Delaware State PoliceCourtesy of Delaware State Police
    Delaware State Police said they arrested a Harrington man Thursday after they discovered he had been involved in selling heroin.More
    Delaware State Police said they arrested a Harrington man Thursday after they discovered he had been involved in selling heroin. More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Headed Toward Maryland

    Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Headed Toward Maryland

    Farmers like Jennie Schmidt of Queen Anne's County know all too well how hard it is to grow grapes. And now Mother Nature, in the shape of a quarter-sized, red and black polka-dotted bug, is about to make Schmidt's job even more challenging. The spotted lanternfly, already pestering nearby states like Pennsylvania and Virginia, is on its way to Maryland.

    More

    Farmers like Jennie Schmidt of Queen Anne's County know all too well how hard it is to grow grapes. And now Mother Nature, in the shape of a quarter-sized, red and black polka-dotted bug, is about to make Schmidt's job even more challenging. The spotted lanternfly, already pestering nearby states like Pennsylvania and Virginia, is on its way to Maryland.

    More
  • Cruisin OC Heads back to Ocean City

    Cruisin OC Heads back to Ocean City

    It's official, Cruisin OC will be rolling through Ocean City once again in the Spring. Earlier this week, the council approved dates for the car show.
    Some locals say they're dreading for when those dates arrive. George Balunis, an Ocean City resident, says when the car events come into town, he stays inside.
    More
    It's official, Cruisin OC will be rolling through Ocean City once again in the Spring. Earlier this week, the council approved dates for the car show.
    Some locals say they're dreading for when those dates arrive. George Balunis, an Ocean City resident, says when the car events come into town, he stays inside.
    More
  • Medicare Fraud Lawsuit Names Private Ambulance Company & PRMC

    Medicare Fraud Lawsuit Names Private Ambulance Company & PRMC

    Federal authorities are investigating claims a private ambulance company committed Medicare fraud with the participation of Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

    A lawsuit filed in federal court outlines an alleged scheme to rake in tens of millions of dollars by over-billing Medicare on tens of thousands of non-emergency trips.

    More

    Federal authorities are investigating claims a private ambulance company committed Medicare fraud with the participation of Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

    A lawsuit filed in federal court outlines an alleged scheme to rake in tens of millions of dollars by over-billing Medicare on tens of thousands of non-emergency trips.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices