AUSTIN -- It's not often you see the Texas State Senate Chamber with furniture removed and plastic covering the walls and carpets.

The last time the chamber was renovated was 1993. The current project began in June and should finish by the end of October.

"After 21 years, there's actually a lot of wear and tear," explained Chris Currens, Director of Special Projects for the Texas State Preservation Board. He said the renovation costs approximately $426,000, which is being paid for with revenue from the Capitol's gift shop and food service in the Capitol Grill.

This renovation project affects three things: the ceiling coffers, the walls, and the carpet. Even though there are only three things affected, the size of the chamber makes for a very big project.

"It takes a lot of detail, and when you have priceless furniture in the room, you don't want to be sanding and painting and sawing," said Currens.

He explained that as stewards of the Capitol building - it's their responsibility to preserve it. "Oh, it's marvelous to see that the care that went into restoring the building 21 years ago, that we have the staff and the expertise to continue that commitment to making the building look like it did in 1888."

Brian Lovelace, a summer camp counselor from Waco, brought his group to the Capitol for a tour. "I really enjoy the architecture of the Capitol; I think it's pretty cool. That stuff kind of interests me," he said.

The Senate Chamber renovation will continue to preserve this historic building.

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