- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The campaign to restore the governor’s mansion in Illinois is getting close to its $15 million goal less than two years after private fundraising began as an alternative to traditional appropriations for state construction.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says private donors have raised about $14 million for the Illinois Executive Mansion.

“We’ll be there ($15 million) in the next couple of weeks,” Rauner said. “The renovation will take a little over a year. We’re going to do the whole inside of the mansion, as well as the landscaping and the grounds.”

Rauner said he and his wife, Diana Rauner, expect to live in the director’s house at the state fairgrounds for about 14 months. The goal is to complete restoration of the 162-year-old mansion in time for the August 2018 bicentennial of Illinois statehood, The State Journal-Register (https://bit.ly/2pC35LL ) reported.

The Illinois Executive Mansion Association launched the fundraising campaign in May 2015 after the historic home suffered significant interior and exterior deterioration due to years of neglect. Roof repairs to prevent further interior water damage were an early priority for work that was repeatedly delayed over the years because of chronic state budget issues.

Association officials said in a statement Tuesday that fundraising will continue after the $15 million goal is met.

“All funds raised over the major restoration $15 million goal will go to the Illinois Executive Mansion Association, which will continue to fulfill its mission, and ensure that the Executive Mansion never falls into disrepair again.”

Association spokesman Max Bever said in an email that a donor list will be released at the end of the campaign.

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, https://www.sj-r.com

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