Work has begun on the first phase of the Alaska Capitol overhaul. Work will include a seismic retrofit of the building and other renovations. Alaska Commercial Contractors Inc. won the bid for the $1.7 million contract to peform the first phase of renovation. Part of the work will include addressing structural deterioration, but the building’s signature pillars won’t go away. However, the upper limestone portion, the portico over the entrance with the words “Alaska State Capitol,” will be removed so concrete beams can be installed. The portio will remain unfinished until the second phase of the project. Work should be completed by October on the first phase.