Today's Why Guy question comes to us from one of our favorite reporters — ABC10's own John Bartell: "Why is the Capitol covered in plastic?"

Well, Mr. Bartell's Backroads, there is a lot of fixing going on at the Capitol. Currently, it looks like a giant gift in tight white wrapping paper. Unfortunately, it's not.

There are drainage issues with all three balconies and porticoes along with standing water under the black and white marble tiles, which has caused staining on the granite facade of the building.

Work should be finished on the west side of the Capitol before the Dec. 5 tree lighting ceremony, and the rest of the repairs completed on the north and south sides by the time the Legislature reconvenes in January, according to Debra Gravert, the Chief Administrative Officer with the California State Assembly. Gravert added the Capitol is "installing a new water sloping mortar bed, membrane and tile."

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Renovations are also underway to upgrade the 67-year-old Capitol Annex, which houses many legislative offices adjacent to the 19th century main capital building.

The cost of this renovation is $755 million. Almost two million people visit the capital annually and there are safety issues like uneven floors, leaks and the lack of a sprinkler system.  

"We know this is one of the most visited places in the State of California," said Kevin McCarty, a Sacramento Assemblyman. "What they don't know is this building is a death trap."

Once completed, the upgraded — and apparently safer — Capitol Annex will include a parking garage and a visitors center. The Annex repair should be done by the year 2025.

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