- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota’s residents got their first look on a design for a new $5 million home for North Dakota’s first family on Tuesday, asking questions ranging from security at the site to how snow will be moved from its driveway.

About 20 people attended the meeting at the state Capitol to see the plans for the proposed governor’s residence and give input. A design committee earlier preferred a nearly 18,000-square-foot, one-story design over a pair of two-story designs, and voted unanimously to adopt the one-story on Tuesday.

John Wagar of Valley City told the committee, which has four lawmakers in its ranks, that he had heard that the proposed residence was “underwhelming.” But Wagar said he was pleased with the prairie-style home and that it represented “conservative North Dakota and North Dakota values.”

The Legislature approved construction of a new governor’s home in April, but stipulated that 20 percent of its cost must be funded by private donations. Construction cannot begin until at least $500,000 has been raised from private sources.

Jim Poolman, who is co-chairing a committee tasked with raising private donations, said Tuesday that he expects $500,000 will achieved by the end of the year.

The current 10,000-square-foot residence was completed in 1960 and is in need of repairs in excess of $2.8 million. Security concerns and handicap accessibility are cited as major concerns, which the new design addresses, said Chris Hawley, a Fargo architect whose company drafted the designs.

Hawley said the home will be built of limestone, granite and brick and “is intended to last 100 years.”

The current prairie-style home will be razed and the new dwelling would be built just north of that site on the Capitol grounds, state facilities management director John Boyle said.

Revenue from four oil wells in a fund reserved solely for improvements to the Capitol grounds would be used to build the new residence. Construction is planned to begin next year, with completion by Thanksgiving 2017.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple is the state’s eighth chief executive to reside in the current dwelling. He is not running for re-election.

The home is the second official governor’s residence. The original Governor’s Mansion, built in 1884, is a few blocks south of the Capitol.

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