State Capitol reopens after 17 months – NBC Connecticut
The public was allowed to enter the State Capitol and Legislative Office building on Tuesday for the first time since March 2020.
“Today the building is open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. The tour schedule is always evolving,” said Kim Fabrizio, Capitol Tours manager for the League of Voters.
People can come for a self-guided tour, although it will be limited to the first floor. Some came during the pandemic to find they couldn’t get in.
“We had people from California. It was their 40th Capitol with their family, ”Fabrizio said.
“We like to call them Capitol Collectors,” Fabrizio said.
When they see the Connecticut Capitol, visitors are amazed.
“Wow they can’t believe we have it because I think they have this view of Connecticut, our ancient history, everything was simple and to see this building it’s high Victorian Gothic style with influences French classics from the Middle East. It surprises them, ”Fabrizio said.
“A lot of people come, especially the little ones, and they say it’s the castle. To see the castle, they like it, ”Fabrizio said.
There will be new rules for the public to enter the Capitol.
Everyone must wear a mask in the common areas regardless of their vaccination status. Elevators will still be limited to two people and temperature controls will no longer be necessary.
Public access to the Capitol and the Legislative Office building will be limited to the first floors of each building.
Lawmakers have been divided over openness.
“All buildings should be open not only for people to visit, but for people to interact, this is their building,” said parliamentary minority leader Vincent Candelora.
“I don’t consider it open if it’s only a little open,” said Cherie Juhnke from Plainville.
Juhnke was able to make it to the second floor to sign the visitors diary in the governor’s office.
“It’s unfortunate that it takes so long for this building and the people in it to figure out that we can safely reopen,” said Candelora.
Democratic lawmakers make no apologies.
“The pandemic as we know it across the country in state legislative buildings ended up making many people sick, so we had to take all the necessary precautions to keep people healthy,” the chief said. the majority in the Senate, Bob Duff.