Restoring the charred Texas Governor's Mansion to its historic significance, including a new wing and updated security, will cost an estimated $27 million, officials from the State Preservation Board told lawmakers Tuesday.
About $2 million in private funds have been raised to restore the mansion, which was gutted last summer by an arsonist. The board is asking lawmakers for the remaining $25 million.
"It seems like this has a lot more in it than just restoring," Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, questioning how lawmakers could justify such a project during difficult economic times.
"Not having to acquire land, not having to build from scratch, a lot of historical features of the home still exist ... it seems to me to be a hard sell to constituents during this period of time."
John Sneed, executive director of the State Preservation Board, said the 2,000-square-foot-addition would bring the mansion into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which guarantees access and rights for people with disabilities. The new wing would take up two stories and basement space.
"This is probably the most complicated project you could ever ask for," said Dealey Herndon, project manager of the restoration. "There's not a single part of this house that isn't damaged."