N.J. state Capitol renovations on track for 2022 completion

Inside the N.J. state Captiol building in Trenton, which is undergoing renovations. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Inside the N.J. state Captiol building in Trenton, which is undergoing renovations. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

The official overseeing the $283 million renovation of the executive branch portion of the New Jersey State House says everything is on schedule and under budget.

About 15 to 20 percent of the work on the project has been done, according to Raymond Arcario, the executive director of the New Jersey Building Authority. “We have been working at taking everything out of the building that’s non-historic, doing the environmental cleanup, and the investigative work to determine exactly what are the conditions of the building,” said Arcario.  “How was the building put together, all of which informs the development of the plans and specifications, which our architects and engineers are diligently working on.”

Arcario took reporters on a tour of the building and showed the deterioration caused by decades of water damage. The next phase of the work, including more demolition of office partitions that were added over the years and the removal of asbestos and lead paint, will be getting underway soon, according to Arcario.

Renovation and restoration work is expected to begin early next year.

“Everything associated with the mechanical equipment that’s going to need to go in the building which means plumbing, electrical, tele-data, all the technology, I think that’s going to end up when we look at our final bids to be the largest piece of the project,” he said.

The project is targeted for completion in 2022.

Arcario said the renovations will restore the building to the way it looks between 1910 and 1920.

The giant project was started under former Gov. Chris Christie, even though his own lieutenant governor Kim Guadagno at the time criticized it as overpriced and wasteful. Christie justified the expensive overhaul, calling it a death trap.

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