South Dakota Capitol fence nears completion

The fence is under four feet tall, and is meant to protect against any cars.
Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 10:01 AM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The city of Pierre and the Capitol Complex in it continue to see a number of changes by way of construction project.

One of the most notable of those changes is the fence that is in the process of going up around the Capitol, which is meant to serve as a protective barrier against cars.

South Dakota Bureau of Administration Commissioner Scott Bollinger says that the fence is meant to serve as a sort of “insurance policy.”

“The end goal is to protect the asset, I mean the Bureau of Administration is responsible for risk management, our insurance program. We are trying to protect the building from someone who may like to do damage to the building.” says Bollinger.

The fence is just one of many construction projects going on in and around Pierre, to include the Governor’s Mansion fence, and work being done on the Richard Kneip building, which houses the Department of Social Services. The construction projects are all part of a broader effort to shore up security, particularly in a post-COVID-19 world.

“We’re calling it controlling access to the buildings, and it is really a change of events in light of COVID, even just flu season. People have ready access walking in and out of state buildings. We are at a point where does it make sense to allow just anyone to walk in who may not be feeling well?” says Bollinger.

Many residents in Pierre say they love the aesthetic of the Capitol building, and what it means to the city writ large. They can see the fence being a welcome addition as well.

“It is short enough that it doesn’t take away from the aesthetic of the building, it is still really accessible to everybody, but it does add a little extra security.” Says Pierre resident Katie Shroyer.

The fence will essentially encircle the building, with the exception of the entryways. At this point in time, construction crews have mostly to just finish up on landscaping and wiring, and expect to be done sometime within the next two months.

When all said and done, South Dakota taxpayers will be on the hook for $821,142, which Commissioner Bollinger says came from the normally allotted budget the Bureau of Administration gets any other year.

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