Plans for bathroom upgrade at governor's mansion scaled back
Posted October 11, 2013
Updated October 14, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — After @NCCapitol wrote about a list of repair and renovations planned for buildings around the state, we got a few questions about one particular item on the list:
"Executive Mansion - Renovate 2nd Floor Bathrooms ($230,000) "The bathrooms on 2nd floor residential area of the Executive Mansion are in need of renovation. The project will provide new tile floors, new counter tops, and new fixtures."
Other work at the executive mansion, including exterior painting, is on the repair and renovation list, but it was the bathrooms that prompted those writing in our comments section to ask "seriously?"
We're talking about six bathrooms that total up to 560 square feet, including a 240-square-foot master bathroom.
"There's evidence of mold growing significant enough to require renovation work," said Chris Mears, a spokesman for the Department of Administration, which put together the repair list.
There has been roughly $6.8 million worth of work on the 122-year-old mansion since Gov. Mike Easley took office, according to a summary provided by Mears, but none of that work dealt with the bathrooms.
"The last time they (the bathrooms) were renovated was under Jim Holshouser," Mears said. Holshouser was governor from 1973 to 1977.
In a memo detailing the required work, Bill Sears, a private architect working for the state, said existing floors and fixtures need to be removed, and the electrical outlets need to be upgraded to modern standards.
And because the mansion is an historic house, some custom work will be required to preserve historic features. For example, Mears said, one bathroom was retrofitted when President Franklin D. Roosevelt stayed at the mansion. Those retrofits, he said, will need to be preserved.
The $230,000 figure is only an estimate. The project will be put to bid.
Gov. Pat McCrory's spokeswoman, Kim Genardo, released a statement Saturday about the renovations.
"The governor has firmly communicated to the Department of Administration that not one penny of taxpayer dollars will be used to remodel or upgrade any of the six bathrooms in the living quarters of the State of North Carolina's executive mansion," the statement said. "Only a very limited amount of funds will be used to repair potential code violations, treat dangerous mold and fix broken faucets."