$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.

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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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