Seven Months And Two Storms Later, Executive Mansion Gets Mini-Fix

Jul 10, 2014

The governor's executive mansion in Springfield is receiving much-needed repair after rainwater caused damage twice in the last two months. But the repairs are only a stopgap measure; it's all the state can afford right now.

Walk into the executive mansion in Springfield, and nothing looks awry. But climb the stairs to the third floor, where the governor's apartment lies, off-limits to tours and most events, and the damage is apparent in two historical bedrooms.

After heavy rains in late May and early June, water seeped in from the roof in eight places. Though the roof has been on the state's project list since at least December, it was only after the leaks into the bedrooms and flooding in the basement that the governor's office was able to secure emergency funding to fix the roof.

Records show that earlier project bids, in December, January and February stated the entire roof needed replacement. But Dave Blanchette, with the governor's office, says the state has other fiscal responsibilities, like repairing highways and bridges after a rough winter, so the roof will only be patched for now.

"It's the best solution in the short term," he said. "Long term, it's going to need a lot of work, but right now, to keep it safe, to keep further damage from occurring, we're patching the roof."

The repairs will cost the state $40,000, and will come out of a fund approved back in 2009.

No furniture or artifacts are permanently damaged, but Blanchette says if they'd waited a few more weeks, it could have been an even bigger mess.

Last year, the mansion hosted 144 private events, netting over $85,000 in profits.