VANCOUVER -- The official home of the Queen's representative in British Columbia is now closed to the public as it undergoes $10.2 million in renovations the ministry responsible for its upkeep says are "long-needed."

Government House in Victoria will be closed for about a year as crews complete security upgrades, install a new back-up generator, improve electrical and HVAC systems and refurbish the fire suppression system, according to a news release from the provincial Ministry of Citizens Services.

The changes will not affect the aesthetics of the property, and the grounds will remain open, as will outlying buildings like the seasonal tea room, the ministry says.

During the closure, Lt. Gov. Janet Austin and her staff will continue their work in one of the provincial government buildings in Victoria.

The current Government House building is the third one in the province's history. The previous two were destroyed by fire. All three have stood at the same site on Rockland Avenue in Victoria. The current building was completed and opened to the public in 1959.