Nearly $400K in Capitol improvements set to wrap up

BISMARCK (AP) — Nearly $400,000 worth of improvements to the state Capitol grounds are set to wrap up in weeks, including a work to nip pervasive smells from the governor’s residence kitchen.

The Bismarck Tribune reported Monday that $230,000 in curb replacements around the Capitol mall could be done later this month but might stretch into July. Meanwhile, about $150,000 of work to fix noisy acoustics and poor kitchen ventilation in the governor’s residence should be finished by the end of June.

Problems at the $4.9 million residence have been ongoing for two years, most notably cooking smells from the kitchen permeating the home’s formal event space.

“That aroma comes into that space, so if you were to come in the front door for that event, be it a sit-down dinner, you would know what was for supper before anyone told you because you would smell it,” Facility Management Director John Boyle said.

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting supply chain problems have delayed the fixes, he said.

Facility Management also has hired J2 Studio Architecture + Design to bring the Capitol in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, including upgrading doors and audio and visual technology in legislative committee rooms.

Legislators this session and last year heard from disabled people who have trouble moving around the Capitol, especially in restrooms.