Governor Christie says the state is working with the Economic Development Authority to make a comprehensive $300 million renovation of the New Jersey Statehouse.
Christie says the executive branch portion of the Statehouse that was built in 1792 has not had any significant renovations in over 60 years and the building is a trap.
“There’s absolutely no sprinklers or fire suppression equipment in this portion of the building. There is no smoke separation through any of the parts of the building if a fire were to occur. We have ADA violations all over the place. We have code violations throughout the place. We have combustible materials in the attic and all throughout the building that could lead to a tragedy.”
Christie says the building is subject to catastrophic failure in many different places.
“We’ve been told that the office of the Counsel to the Governor next to my office is sinking into the ground and is in danger in the next two years of collapsing into the ground and crushing everything that’s beneath it. What’s beneath it? All of the computer servers that serve this building and the executive branch of the government.”
Christie says the deterioration of the building is extraordinary.
“Windows are literally falling out of this building and need to be strapped into the window frames to avoid them from falling out and hitting vehicles, people below. The chimneys are structurally deficient and not only cause a fire hazard as a result but also have the danger of falling apart and hitting passersby.”
The governor says 35 percent of the building has no HVAC coverage.
“No heat, no ventilation or air conditioning, and we have people working in the executive branch every day, which is not only a life safety issue but it’s also an issue for the preservation of the equipment here and the documents here as well.”
Christie says those condition of the building is shameful and the renovations will ensure the safety of workers and visitors.
Employees in that part of the Statehouse will be moved to other worksites by July.
The renovation work is expected to take four years to complete.