Madison County’s historic courthouse is beginning its lengthy renovation process.
Fencing went up around the building’s northeast entrance on Friday, Sept. 2 as a safety mechanism as contractor Allstate Exteriors begins its investigative work, according to Commissioner David Dhume.
The plan is to overhaul the entire building’s grouting and roofing to stop leaks and water damage to the 126-year-old building.
“The renovation process is starting and we ask for everyone’s patience,” said Dhume, “Our philosophy is to do whatever it takes to seal off moisture from deteriorating the building.”
The building’s 19th-century style provides a bit of a hurdle. Under the slate roofing are thick pieces of metal, material common to that time period and virtually unused today. Some contractors have suggested replacing the metal — an expensive option, said Commissioner Paul Gross.
In December, commissioners received a quote of more than $6 million for the building’s complete renovation. Instead of moving forward with the entire project at once, commissioners will bid for one component at a time, said Gross.
The county purchased an electric lift for $40,000 to get the inspection team onto the roof. This was a money-saving measure as renting the machine would cost the county upwards of $1,200 per day, he said.
They plan to sell the machine after the renovations are completed. However, there have been issues with the lift, said Joe Mullins, owner of Allstate Exteriors. He said the problem is being addressed.
The entire renovation project is expected to take well over a year.
In other county business:
• Mullins also told commissioners the county-owned building at 304 Lafayette St. is in need of a new roof. Holes in the roof are taking in massive amounts of water and need to be filled and replaced, he said.
A pitched roof at the building is causing gravel to dump into the gutters and clog the drain.
Mullins said a ballpark estimate for the roof is $250,000. Commissioners plan to pursue the project for 2017. Tractor Supply Company, the Madison County-London City Health District and ADS are among the building’s tenants.
• Commissioners opened bids for three paving projects. A paving project on Converse-Huff Road, from U.S. Route 42 to Plain City-Georgesville Road in Darby Township, will be awarded to Shelly Corporation, per the recommendation of Engineer Bryan Dhume. The corporation bid $399,863, out of three other competitors.
Another road project on Taylor-Blair Road, partially funded Ohio Public Works Commission, was awarded to Kokosing Construction for a bid of $277,441, out of three other competitors.
A&A Safety was also awarded a pavement marking contract of various roads for $143,043, out of two other competitors.
• The Madison County Airport Authority reported the new hanger is on the edge of completion.
The 10-hangar building was built for about $796,228. The project is being paid for by a $700,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration and a public match of $79,622, which will be provided by commissioners.
On Tuesday commissioners agreed to a $200,000 short-term loan while board members await a grant check. The county will be reimbursed upon receipt of the check.
Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617.