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story.lead_photo.caption Artist craftsman Brad Bruce repaints near the ceiling in a first-floor dining room at the Missouri Governor's Mansion. Bruce, who works for Kansas City-based Retropros, was one of several workers seen on the job as Sherry Kempf of Facilities Management led a tour of the mansion Thursday and described the work being done at the home. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

The renovations of the Missouri Governor's Mansion are projected to cost about a half-million dollars more than originally contracted because of unforeseen structural conditions, but the work is still hoped to be completed by the originally projected date of Oct. 25.

The mansion was built in 1871. The current renovations began in June, and Gov. Mike Parson and first lady Teresa Parson moved out June 10.

The Parson's temporary residence is a two-bedroom, two-bath home with an unfinished basement on the grounds of the Missouri National Guard's Ike Skelton Training Site on Militia Drive — the rent and utilities paid to the National Guard by the Office of Administration, according to the OA's Director of Communications Brittany Ruess.

Ruess said the state facility bond funds issued in 2015 and 2016 for the mansion's renovation will cover all the project costs, including the price increase from $3.3 million to $3.85 million.

On a tour of the mansion Thursday, Sherry Kempf said unforeseen structural issues that arose during renovations included the discovery that a beam above the dining room and beams in the sunporch were failing.

Kempf is with the OA's Facilities Management Design & Construction office (FMDC), and she is the program manager for the Capitol complex and project manager for the Governor's Mansion renovations.

She said the failing beams are being replaced with new steel I-beams made by Delong's Inc.

The major part of the renovations at the mansion is replacing the home's heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, but work also includes upgrades and repairs to the mansion's mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

"The humidity was horrible in the summer," with "sweating" objects, Kempf said. The HVAC problems also caused furniture to crack in the winter months because of the lack of humidity in the mansion that time of the year.

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Condensation from the piecemeal installed HVAC system has also caused damage.

Kempf said the renovations will hopefully prevent future damage.

Teresa Parson said within the first week of living in the mansion, a meeting was called to discuss the need for renovations.

The Parsons did not make a commitment to the work then, but Teresa Parson said as "little hidden things" became noticeable issues — such as water dripping from the ceiling and the sagging of the floor in their bedroom — last spring they gave the green light for renovations.

The last public tour of the mansion before the renovation work began was May 15, and once schools let out for the summer, tours typically slow down anyway, said Rebecca Gordon is the executive director of the Friends of the Missouri Governor's Mansion.

She said the group is also supporting the replacement of custom-made rugs in the mansion — including two in the double-parlor room, one for the front door and one for the library — as well as projects on the third floor.

"FMDC and the contractor are working together to ensure the project is minimally invasive to maintain the historic and aesthetic features of the Governor's Mansion," according to an OA news release from Ruess.

Shari Childs, director of the Governor's Mansion, said public tours will probably start up again after Jan. 1, 2020, but Christmas events have already been in the works.

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