After months of extensive water damage, the Executive Mansion -- built in the 19th century as living quarters for the Illinois governor -- is finally getting some long-awaited repairs.
Emergency fixes to the mansion were ordered Monday with a notice posted on the Illinois Procurement Bulletin (via Capitol Fax). A contractor, Henry Robinson Company, was hired to patch up leaks coming from the roof; costs are estimated to be under $40,000. Robinson's contract ends in September.
"Due to the age (over 44 years old) and deterioration of the roof, heavy rains have caused sufficient roof damage to allow water leaks into the building, causing damage to interior room ceilings, walls. Further water leaks may lead to further damage, including floors and mold," stated the notice in an "emergency justification" of the expense.
The historic 1855-era home was in bad shape back in May when its curator detailed the water damage from a harsh winter that caused the roof to leak. Weeks later, reports surfaced that its basement had flooded as well.
The No. 1 theory on Gov. Pat Quinn's reluctance to hire help for the ailing landmark was his apparent fear of seeming hypocritical -- especially during an election year. After all, he'd recently complained about the state's $50 million project to revamp the Capitol's west wing.
Also on Monday, in signing Illinois' 2015 budget, Quinn rejected $250 million for further renovations to the Capitol.
"While ensuring the Capitol building is modern and accessible to all people in Illinois is a priority, the state cannot afford to move forward with additional renovations this year," said Quinn's office in a press release. "In 2013, the Governor halted renovations at the Capitol after excessive flourishes and spending by the architect was brought to his attention."