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County aims to fix old building’s roof

Decatur County Commissioners showed their commitment to fixing an old, leaky roof on the Courthouse Annex, the building that houses the District Attorney’s and Board of Elections’ offices.

The two-story building, located at 122 W. Water St. in downtown Bainbridge, has had four different roofs in its lifetime, most recently a metal roof installed last year, which didn’t fix leaks that occurred after heavy rainfall events.

On Tuesday night, county commissioners approved a low bid of $49,000 by Peach State Roofing of Milton, Fla., to install a new roof system.

The county’s consultant on the project, architect Leon Lynn of Jinright, Ryan and Lynn of Thomasville, Ga., recommended that county leaders opt to “start over” by salvaging the metal from the most recent roof and removing the other three old roofs. That would expose the underlying wood substrate and allow the contractor to install a single-ply membrane roof that would be extended up the roof’s parapets—low-lying walls along the roof’s edges—to more effectively seal all the horizontal and vertical surfaces on the roof, Lynn said.

Lynn said his firm had helped the Bainbridge Downtown Development Authority install a similar roof system on the old Kwilecki building and had good results.

The membrane is expected to be backed by a 20-year warranty from the manufacturer, who will also send a technical consultant to offer advice on the new roof. The warranty would not limit the amount of money to be spent in case the manufacturer had to replace the roof during the 20 years. The warranty would also cover the roof’s flashings, pieces of sheet metal used to cover certain joints and angles on the roof in order to prevent leaks.

The two-story, 2,720-square-foot brick courthouse annex was built in 1922 and renovated in 1980, according to tax assessor records.

Both District Attorney Joe Mulholland and elections officials have publicly said the building has had ongoing problems with water leaking into office and storage space after heavy rainfall events.

According to Mulholland, a Superior Court grand jury is scheduled to inspect the condition of the courthouse annex this year.

Peach State, who expects to finish work on the new roof within 45 days after it begins, was one of three firms who submitted bids, out of nine original prospective bidders, Lynn said. The others were KH Contracting and Harrell Roofing, both out of Tallahassee, Fla.