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Colorado Considers Fortifying Capitol Building After Summer Of Vandalism

Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage
State officials say the building sustained more than $1 million worth of damage this summer.

Colorado’s state Capitol building could soon be fortified with new metal gates, bullet-proof windows and security cameras.

State officials are considering the new security measures after they say the historic building sustained more than $1 million worth of damage and vandalism during summer protests.

Kara Veitch, the head of the Department of Personnel and Administration, told lawmakers on Tuesday an engineering firm has been hired to work on the project.

She also said the state’s Division of Homeland Security recently conducted a threat assessment on the building. Their recommendations to increase security range from installing metal gates over lower-floor doors and windows to adding new alarms that go off when windows are broken.

Veitch added the state might install a film over windows to make them more shatter-resistant.

Some lawmakers also started brainstorming other potential fortifications to the building.

Sen. Chris Holbert, R-Parker, asked if the state was looking into the installation of a permanent fence around the Capitol building.

Lawmakers then met behind closed doors to continue the discussion about possible security measures.

Meanwhile, the state is using a chemical spray to remove graffiti on the building. Veitch said the state tested lasers and dry ice as other ways of removing the vandalism.

The restoration project is expected to last through December. It includes repairing windows, bronze monuments and landscaping damaged during demonstrations in downtown Denver.