Virginia Gov. Bob Mc­Don­nell Wednesday announced an amendment to the state budget to provide $2 million for long-awaited repairs to the University of Virginia Rotunda, one of higher education’s iconic structures.

The sum would help the university get started on repairs that will cost more than $50 million and require several years of work. The building’s roof needs replacement and the marble capitals that top its columns require repair, among other needs.

Virginia’s General Assembly balked at releasing funds for the Rotunda. Legislators closed their annual session without budgeting any money for the renovation. University leaders are prepared to raise nearly half the cost from donors - but only if the General Assembly commited to paying the other half.

University spokeswoman Carol Wood said school officials were “extremely pleased — make that thrilled — by this unexpected news today. We are also extremely grateful to Gov. Mc­Don­nell for his recognition of the Rotunda as one of the country’s most important historic landmarks and his belief that the state should share in the funding of some of its restoration.”

For more on the governor’s amendments from writers who understand them better, click here.

This post has been updated.

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