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After 15 months of planning, design work and going out for bids, work on the new North Dakota governor’s residence is underway.

North Dakota Facility Management Director John Boyle said fencing and a construction trailer for the site were brought in Tuesday, with equipment to arrive Thursday for groundwork to commence.

“They should have the site cleared in about 30 days,” Boyle said. “We’re very excited.”

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

“We’re still on schedule for moving in (the governor) in November 2017,” Boyle said.

A $500,000 threshold in fundraising required prior to construction commencing was hit late last year; leaders of the group raising private donations are confident 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.

“If we have a winter like last year that would really be great,” Boyle said of being able to get the foundation ready before the ground freezes.

The project was recently re-bid after the estimated cost rose above the $4.1 million budgeted for the construction portion of the project. Work had originally been scheduled to begin by early August. The remaining dollars set aside for the project will go to architect costs, fees, the demolition of the old residence and any needed furnishings for the new home.

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.

Furniture, a pool table, a grand piano, state china and silverware will be moved from the current residence to the new one once it is completed.

Boyle said 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.

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.

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Reach Nick Smith at 701-250-8255 or 701-223-8482 or at