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Improvements ongoing at North Dakota governor's residence

Improvements ongoing at North Dakota governor's residence

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John Boyle, state facility management director, talks in 2018 about the features in the 1,500-square-foot public reception space inside the east entrance to the North Dakota Governor's Residence. 

Improvements planned last summer for the North Dakota governor's residence have yet to be completed.

The 13,700-square-foot governor's residence completed in 2018 on the North Dakota Capitol Grounds has noisy reverberations in its formal event space. And the home's lower-level kitchen requires better ventilation of pervasive cooking aromas.

A $7,000-$8,000 wireless sound system was installed earlier in 2020 in the space used for entertaining. Sound-absorbing acoustical panels were set to be installed on the ceiling and walls by the end of October. The bouncing noise is due to the room's hard surfaces.

Facility Management Director John Boyle said there have been some supply chain issues with the panels' delivery. The panels and installation cost $25,000.

His office had hoped to install the panels in December, and is now anticipating their delivery by Feb. 15.

An architect and engineer are designing an alternate solution for the kitchen ventilation, Boyle said. He said last summer he had hoped to see a compatible redesign by the end of July.

The home's problems have been known for more than a year. The improvements will be covered by a $250,000 recurring appropriation of the Capitol Grounds Planning Commission, from which $170,000 will remain after the panels' costs are paid, Boyle said.

The 2015 Legislature budgeted $5 million for the new governor's residence, including $1 million in donations. The Friends of the Residence raised $887,000. The previous home was demolished.

Governor's spokesman Mike Nowatzki referred a Tribune inquiry to Boyle as to whether Gov. Doug Burgum had comment on the home's issues.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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