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Beshear to renovate Governor’s Mansion for first time since 1983; family will live there fulltime

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Like any family who has moved into a new home, especially one that is over 100 years old, Gov. Andy Beshear says he plans to have some renovating done on the Governor’s Mansion.

“Being the first full-time family in decades to live in the Governor’s Mansion,” Beshear said, “I wanted to be transparent that we’re going to be doing some work over there.”

The Governor’s Mansion

The last major renovation and restoration project to the residence took place in 1982-1983, during the administration of Gov. John Y. Brown, Jr.

Beshear says there will be two primary projects.

“One is the removal of a monstrous brown spa tub that was put in, I believe, by Gov. Brereton Jones, after an injury in the 1990s,” he said.

Jones suffered a serious back injury when the state helicopter crashed in August 1992 while he was aboard, along with two pilots and three other passengers.

“It is fairly dangerous and very difficult to get around,” Beshear stated.

The other project is updating the second-floor kitchen, he said.

“Having a full family there is just going to require some updates.”

The money to pay for the project will be coming from the Governor’s Mansion Preservation Foundation, which was started in 2007 by then-Gov. Ernie Fletcher and First lady Glenna Fletcher, to do some interior work. At that time, the state provided funding to replace the outdated heating and cooling system and exterior windows.

“This will not be done with state funds,” Beshear said, “but this is a historic building, so to protect it there will likely be state employees who work on some of the demolition, pulling out that spa tub to make sure that we can protect the building. All of these improvements will be permanent to the building and will stay there long after we are gone.”

Beshear says they will be putting their home in Louisville on the market while living full-time in the Mansion.

“I’m going to have to change my voting registration, but I hear the polling place is pretty close,” Beshear quipped since Franklin County’s Capital Precinct uses the Governor’s Mansion garage.

Another decision that families moving to a new city must make is where their children will attend school, in this case, ten-year-old ill and nine-year-old Lila. While they currently attend a private school in Louisville, Beshear says the decision has not yet been made on whether they will attend Second Street School, in the Frankfort Independent School District.

“They’re in the middle of the school year,” Beshear stated. “We just ultimately want to find what is absolutely best for them. We will be taking a tour of that school system. It’s run by a great superintendent, it’s test scores are wonderful, so it presents a really good opportunity.”

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