HOLMBERG: Mark tours construction of controversial ramp at the Governor’s Mansion

Posted at 11:46 PM, Dec 11, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. -- Join me on a tour of the new wheelchair ramp in progress at our 202-year-old governor's mansion and compare it with the current access on the ground floor.

The crew working on the new one is racing to have it done by January 4 to beat the worst of winter, the project manager said.

New ramp construction

As I told you Wednesday, there has been controversy about the project.

Former First Lady Roxane Gilmore, among others, has pointed out the quarter-million dollar ramp wasn't needed and needlessly changed the exterior of the national landmark.

Mark RampMrs. Gilmore, who basically wrote the book on the mansion, oversaw a massive upgrade there 15 years ago that added ADA compliant ground floor access with elevator and two deluxe bathrooms for those arriving for a visit.

But that can separate groups, and it intruded on what has become this first family's personal space, which is why they let me see it, but not film it.

Should the public have been more involved in changes to this, the most historic governor's mansion in the land?

Construction began late last week on the permanent wheelchair ramp to Virginia's governor's mansion with zero fanfare after weeks of mild controversy over the new addition to the nation's most historic executive mansion. There was little information publicly released about it - how much it would cost, who would pay for it, what kind of historic scrutiny the plan went through.

There wasn't even a draftsman's rendition of what it would look like widely released, even though it will be one of the more visible changes to the exterior of the mansion in its 202-year history.

Click here for more on Mark's previous story: