Why do we need a new Governor’s Residence in ND?
The current Governor’s Residence has grave security concerns and does not meet ADA accessibility requirements. The 2015 ND Legislature voted to build a new Residence for $5 million instead of a $2.8 million renovation of the current residence that would still not be able to fully solve the ADA accessibility issues or other infrastructure issues.
How will this project be funded?
The total project cost for the new North Dakota Governor’s Residence is $5 million. $1 million is required to be raised through private contributions. The remaining $4 million comes from the Capitol Building Trust Fund, which can only be used for the construction and maintenance of public buildings on the Capitol grounds. The fundraising committee has raised the first $500,000 which will enable the project to start construction. They are continuing to raise the remaining dollars.
What is the Capitol Building Trust Fund?
The Capitol Building Trust Fund was created under Article IX of the North Dakota Constitution for the construction and maintenance of “public buildings at the capital”. Capitol Building Trust Fund money cannot be used for any other purposes. The trust fund’s assets are the federal land North Dakota received when we became a state, similar to school-trust land. Today, there are 9,994 surface acres of land and 7,689 mineral acres in the trust, along with 16 oil wells and nearly $7 million in cash.
Who made decisions about the new Residence?
The 2015 ND Legislature passed SB2304 to build a new Governor’s Residence and tear down the current building. The votes were 28-19 in the Senate and 69-22 in the House with bipartisan support. The project was then turned over to a Design Committee and the Capitol Grounds Planning Commission. On November 9, 2015, the Design Committee unanimously voted 7-0 on Chris Hawley Architects’ three schematic designs and selected the single story “Prairie Meets the Edge of Western Clay” as the first ranked design. On December 1, 2015 the Capitol Grounds Planning Commission unanimously voted 9-0 to approve the Design Committee’s ranking of the three designs after a public input session.
Where will the new Residence be located?
The new ND Governor’s Residence will reside just north of the current Residence on the Capitol grounds. It will have an east-to-west orientation that allows for two entrances and greater security for the First Family. The public, staff, and vendors will enter off the Capitol Mall, and the family will have a private entrance off of 4th Street.
What is the timeline for the project?
Construction is scheduled to begin in early fall of 2016. Substantial completion of the new Residence is scheduled for October 1, 2017. A state auction will be held in October 2017. Demolition of the existing Residence will be completed by October 28, 2017. The First Family is scheduled to move into the new Residence November 1, 2017.
Will any trees be cut down to make room for the new Residence?
Yes, the civil drawing estimates that 96 trees will be removed. However, the vast majority of these trees have reached the end of their life cycle and already require replacement. 120 new trees will be planted as part of this project.