Gov. Bruce Rauner is packing his things and leaving the Illinois Executive Mansion.
Next year, Rauner and his family will move to the Illinois State Fairgrounds while the mansion closes to the public for renovations.
“The Executive Mansion was neglected for years and left in disrepair,” Rauner said in a statement. “The renovations will restore the building to ensure our future generation can enjoy and learn from its rich history."
"Anyone who has done renovations knows it’s never easy, but by doing a short-term closure, we hope to minimize disruption to the public for the long term.”
In January of 2017, Rauner and his wife, Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner, and their dog, Stella, will move out of the mansion and into the Agriculture Director’s House on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
On Friday, the Illinois Executive Mansion Association named Illinois-base O’Shea Builders as the project’s construction manager. They’ll work with Vinci Hamp Architects on the second phase on the second phase renovation of the People’s House.
“O’Shea Builders have a strong reputation for excellence and integrity in Illinois and we are excited to partner with their professional team to bring the People’s House in the to 21st century,” Jeff Evans, Chairman of the Building Committee for the Illinois Executive Mansion Association, said in a statement.
The renovation is expected to be complete in Spring of 2018 with tours resuming to coincide with the Illinois Bicentennial. The project doesn’t rely on taxpayer funding and is planned entirely with funds raised by the Illinois Executive Mansion Association.