At the end of September, a water leak led to the discovery of structural damage in the large courtroom of the old courthouse downtown. An initial inspection by a structural engineering firm found three of the large oak roof trusses have damages, rendering the original 1905 section of the building dangerous and resulting in the need to close that section to the public. The three doors to that section (Main Street, and the two on each side) are closed until further notice.
Most of the existing flooring and ceiling materials have been removed to allow for the initial investigation and shoring work. There is a bit more to do on both levels to get the needed access for the shoring material. The shoring work will include the installation of six columns (three on each floor) to transfer the attic wood truss loads to the 1st-floor concrete slab. The work will not require the penetration of the 1st or 2nd-floor concrete slabs. This is a good thing as it will reduce the costs of initial work as well as repairs.
There will be some remedial work done on the trusses to provide additional support. This will involve the installation of LVL wood material to take the load off of the rotten truss ends. The work is expected to start in about 30 days (the architect is trying to get that moved up) and will be complete in a couple of days after that. A specialist in the structural analysis will be visiting the building later this month to offer an opinion on the overall condition of the structure. The architects will come back with more details after that meeting.
The County Clerk’s temporary office is open at 1760 South Main Street. All services are available including marriage and business licenses, tag renewal, and auto dealer services. The office is open Monday – Friday, from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM.
Allen Foster’s Office, the Register of Deeds, Veterans Services, Human Resources, and Finance will still operate normally at the old courthouse.