- Associated Press - Monday, November 13, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The public is being given a final opportunity to tour the North Dakota governor’s mansion before it’s demolished.

The 10,000-square-foot residence on the Capitol grounds in Bismarck is being replaced by a $5 million mansion that’s 13,500 square feet. The state’s Facility Management Division has scheduled an open house at the existing residence from 1-7 p.m. Tuesday.

The ranch-style home was completed in 1960 and has been home to nine governors. The new home will be the third official residence built for North Dakota’s governors. The original was constructed in 1884 and still stands a few blocks south of the Capitol.

The Legislature in 2015 approved construction of a new mansion because the existing residence has security issues, is not handicapped-accessible and likely contains lead paint, mold and asbestos. Work began in September 2016. The state is providing $4 million, and efforts are ongoing to raise $1 million in private funds, according to the governor’s office.

The new home is in the final stages of construction and is expected to be ready for occupancy next month. It will include some fixtures from the existing residence.

Final demolition of the old home could begin as early as February. The state had wanted to see the residence preserved, but no one formally offered to buy the building and move it to a new location.

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