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W.Va. Governor's Mansion to be repaired

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It isn't quite 150 years old, but once the Sesquicentennial celebration is over, the Governor's Mansion will get a sprucing up, with work approved Wednesday by the Capitol Building Commission.

That will include repairing and repainting exterior doors, windows, columns, soffits, dormers and balconies, along with repairs and repainting to the reception room, ballroom, sunroom and staircases, General Services Division director Greg Melton told the commission.

"In general, the work we'll be doing in the mansion is strictly repair work," he said.

One substantive change approved Wednesday will permit replacing windows in the sunroom with energy efficient thermo-pane glass.

Some of the work will be contracted out, while some will be done in-house by GSD personnel, he said.

"The time frame we're looking at ... is post-Sesquicentennial into late summer," Melton said of the project.

Estimated cost was not immediately available.

In 2006, the mansion's residential floors underwent an extensive $3.36 million renovation.

Also Wednesday, the commission approved:

* The removal of seven trees on the Capitol Complex campus. That includes six Bartlett pear trees that line two sides of the north plaza fountain, near the Lincoln statue.

Melton said the trees have been damaged by chemically treated water leaking from the fountain. He said General Services will put some type of greenery in their place, although it may not be trees.

"The Bartlett pear trees are so small, I think removing them is not going to cause a hue and cry," Supreme Court administrator Steve Canterbury said in making the motion to permit the trees' removal.

The seventh tree to be removed is a dead white pine located in front of the Culture Center.

* Revised plans for construction of an exterior stairwell on Building 4, commonly known as the Corrections building, on California Avenue.

Constructed in 1951, the six-story office building does not comply with current safety standards, since all stairways exit into the building's main lobby.

Designs for the glass-enclosed exterior stairway, to be located on the southwest corner of the building, were modified so that the stairway will not extend into the adjacent Capitol Complex parking lot on California Avenue.

As originally designed, the stairway would have taken up three parking spaces in the lot -- all assigned to state Supreme Court justices.

Canterbury said the justices weren't concerned about having their parking spaces relocated, but were concerned about the likelihood that three lower-level state employees would lose parking privileges.

In addition to the Supreme Court justices, officials including the attorney general, treasurer and ranking House of Delegates staff have spaces in the lot.

Reach Phil Kabler at philk@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.


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