Despite objections from several lawmakers, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is moving ahead with a $300 million renovation of the New Jersey Statehouse.
Christie said the building constructed in 1792 is falling apart, and workers have covered at least eight of the iconic building’s windows with plywood.
“Those windows are boarded up now because those windows were judged when they were inspected to be ready to fall out of the building,” the governor said. “So, we’re boarding them up … and the fact is that this is an unsafe building for all of us to be operating in it every day.”
Some lawmakers have said the state can’t afford to make all $300 million worth of renovations and should do only what’s needed to ensure safety. A Treasury official said the deterioration stems form decades of neglect.
The work, which will be financed through borrowing by the state Economic Development Authority, could take four years to complete.
Employees in the executive branch portion of the building will be relocated by June, Christie said.
“I will be the last governor who will operate in a firetrap, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the last seven years,” he said. “Fortunately for me — and maybe unfortunately for some of my adversaries — there was never a fire. But we need to get out of there before there is, before there is any loss of life.”