$300 million in borrowing approved for statehouse overhaul

 New Jersey State Capitol building. (Alan Tu/WHYY)

New Jersey State Capitol building. (Alan Tu/WHYY)

A state economic development agency has approved borrowing up to $300 million to finance Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to renovate the statehouse.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority approved the bonds at a board meeting Thursday.

Christie announced plans last fall for the major renovations to the deteriorating 18th-century building. Workers have begun boarding up windows with plywood.

The project has drawn questions from both Christie’s political opponents and advocacy groups worried about the cost.

Treasurer Ford Scudder said in February the governor’s office and state department employees who work in the statehouse would be moving to a state building down the street in the capital.

Christie says the building is a “fire trap” that hasn’t been significantly updated in six decades.

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