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Capitol fountains — a long time coming — are dedicated
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Capitol fountains — a long time coming — are dedicated

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When architect Bertram Goodhue designed the Capitol he expected it could be built in phases if the state couldn't do everything within budget constraints. 

That's what happened, with murals that were planned in several areas and with fountains for the four courtyards within the building. 

Eighty-five years later, those fountains were dedicated Friday, with a drone buzzing overhead for a time and a computer laptop that started the water flowing after speeches by Chief Justice Mike Heavican, Legislature Speaker Jim Scheer, former Lincoln Sen. DiAnna Schimek and Gov. Pete Ricketts.  

"The silver lining of some of those things not getting finished in the original concept was that succeeding generations of Nebraskans had the opportunity to be involved in this Capitol construction (completion)," Ricketts said. 

Schimek was one of those who lobbied on behalf of the fountains being installed, including former Omaha Sen. John Nelson, a key fundraiser for the project. 

"We are overjoyed to be here today," she said. 

Native designs were incorporated into the fountains to remind school children that the first Nebraskans were Native Americans, Ricketts said.

Money has been donated, and the last part of the project — landscaping for the courtyards — will complete the last phase of restoration.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7228 or

On Twitter @LJSLegislature.


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