Capitol Arch Legislation Signed by Governor

Friday, 17 May 2024 10:04

Capitol Arch Legislation Signed by Governor Featured

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Original Concept Sketch for the Oklahoma 45th National Guard Veteran's Arch Original Concept Sketch for the Oklahoma 45th National Guard Veteran's Arch

OKLAHOMA CITY - Governor Kevin Stitt on Wednesday signed into law legislation that will fund the building of an arch at the Oklahoma Capitol to serve as an honorary symbol of the services performed by the Oklahoma National Guard.

House Bill 4012 is authored by Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore.

"This arch was part of the original design for the state Capitol, and I believe it will add to the beauty of our complex," McBride said. "In addition, it will pay tribute to the legacy of Oklahoma National Guard members and their service and protection of the citizens of our great state."

McBride, who is term-limited this year after serving 12 years in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, said he's pleased that one of his last pieces of legislation will leave an enduring monument for Oklahomans to enjoy.

Architect Solomon Layton included drawings of the arch in early plans for the Capitol, which was completed in 1917. McBride said the arch originally was designed to stretch across Lincoln Boulevard much like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It was one of the structures, like the dome, however, that was laid aside because of lack of funding at the time.  

The 30-foot tall and 60-foot long scale model arch would be constructed south of the visitor's parking lot on the south of the Capitol. It would have a small amphitheater that could seat about 100 people, and the grassy area that now exists would be named Veterans Park.

HB 4012 creates a revolving fund into which state appropriations, donations, gifts and bequests by private individuals or other entities could deposit funds for the purpose of maintaining the arch.

McBride said the project has been in the works since about 2014, before restoration of the Capitol began. He said he wanted to get the $250 million restoration project off the books on time and under budget before he ran this bill asking for funding for the arch. The estimated cost of the arch is $4.3 million, which would come from the Legacy Capital Financing Fund to the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority.

The Senate author of HB 4012 is Sen. Brenda Stanley, R-Midwest City.

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