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Governor's residence work moves ahead of schedule

BISMARCK -- Visitors to the North Dakota state Capitol grounds in recent weeks have seen a flurry of activity with dirt work and pouring of cement as construction crews try to beat Mother Nature in getting the foundation of the new governor's res...

TOM STROMME/TribuneThe front doors of the Governor's Residence are planned to be used in the new residence scheduled to be finished in the fall of 2017.
TOM STROMME/TribuneThe front doors of the Governor's Residence are planned to be used in the new residence scheduled to be finished in the fall of 2017.

BISMARCK - Visitors to the North Dakota state Capitol grounds in recent weeks have seen a flurry of activity with dirt work and pouring of cement as construction crews try to beat Mother Nature in getting the foundation of the new governor's residence in place before winter.

North Dakota Facility Management Director John Boyle said, since the first bit of work was being done on the site in late September, the project is already a few weeks ahead of schedule.

"They're taking full advantage of the warmer weather," Boyle said.

Mild fall temperatures since groundwork was started have allowed workers to make good time in prepping the site. The project is on track for completion in November 2017.

The goal is to have the foundation set by the end of the year so the site can be enclosed and work can continue through the winter, according to Boyle, who estimated work is about three weeks ahead of schedule.

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"It's really going up fast. We're really pleased with the progression," Boyle said.

In 2015, the Legislature authorized $4 million from the state's Capitol Building Fund and $1 million from private donations to construct the new residence during the 2015-2017 biennium for the 13,600-square-foot residence. The current 10,000-square-foot residence was completed in 1960.

A $500,000 threshold in fundraising required prior to construction commencing was hit late last year; leaders of the group raising private donations have expressed confidence the full $1 million will be raised.

The first $500,000 in private donations for construction was transferred to the Capitol Building Trust Fund on Sept. 12.

The remaining dollars outside of the $4.1 million budgeted for the construction portion of the project will go to architect costs, fees, the demolition of the old residence and any needed furnishings for the new home, Boyle said.

The general contract was awarded to Northwest Contracting Inc. while the mechanical contract went to Northern Plains Heating, Cooling and Air. Both are Bismarck-based companies.

The electrical contract went to Fargo-based Magnum Electric Inc., which also has an office in Bismarck.

Most of the existing furniture and items inside the current residence will be placed in the new one once completed. The front doors to the public entrance of the existing residence will also be repurposed. One door will be used as the door to the governor's personal office in the new residence; the other will be used for the first lady's personal office.

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Whatever items aren't used for the residence will go to state surplus; agencies and political subdivisions would have the first opportunity at purchasing items for their offices.

More information on the residence or to donate to the construction of the residence, visit www.friendsoftheresidence.com .

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