Gov. Steve Beshear named the Capitol Education Center on the grounds of the Capitol Monday to honor someone near and dear to him — first lady Jane Beshear, his wife of 46 years.
The announcement was made by outgoing governor in the center that serves as an education and welcoming facility for more than 60,000 guests to the Capitol campus every year. It left the first lady speechless.
“The Capitol Education Center would not exist today without the foresight and drive of Jane Beshear,” said the governor during a news conference at the facility adjacent to the Capitol and Executive Mansion.
“Under her leadership, this former heating and cooling facility has been transformed into a modern space that promotes Kentucky government, geography, energy conservation and more.”
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Jane Beshear attended the news conference to announce some upgrades to the center that opened in February 2013. She said they included a new projector and drop-down screen, seven new all-in-one computers for educational kiosks, four new kinetic displays and updated kiosk software and media interactives.
The governor, who leaves office Dec. 8, said his wife was responsible for securing private donations to help outfit the center, including $250,000 from Duke Energy and appliances for the center’s kitchen from General Electric.
The building now called the Jane K. Beshear Capitol Education Center originally was built in 1988 to house heating and cooling equipment for the Capitol campus.
As the campus grew, more space was needed for equipment and it was moved to a different location, leaving the building empty and unused.