Ball is finally rolling on restorations of Decatur Co. courthouse
Published 4:48 pm Friday, August 28, 2015
After more than a year of dealing with leaks, rotting wood and a damaged roof that continues to get worse, the Decatur County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to accept a bid for the repair of the Decatur County Courthouse.
Streamline Roofing and Construction, Inc. of Tallahassee, Florida, will provide the service. Their offer of $68,300 was the only bid Decatur County received for the project. Plans are already underway to begin the repairs.
“It is the people’s property,” Decatur County administrator Alan Thomas said. “We need to protect it.”
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Though there are many internal damages to the building, this first step of a proposed multi-phase project will focus on two of the main problem areas: the lower west flat roof and the upper east pitched roof.
Miscellaneous tears and holes have found their way into a protective barrier that is meant to keep water and other outside elements from leaking into the building. Years of neglect have caused the problem to worsen, resulting in the offices of judges Edwin J. Perry and A. Wallace Judge Cato being evacuated to minimalize damages last fall.
Decatur County Clerk of Court Cecilia Willis, who has advocated for the repair of the Courthouse for more than a year, is working closely with Decatur County Maintenance Manager James Coddington in overseeing the repair process. The first goal was sealing the building so nothing else would find its way in.
“We need to protect the inside from the outside,” Thomas said, “then we’ll come up with a to-do list on where we go from there.”
Willis said once the roof was taken care of, they would begin repairs on the corner that is home to the secondary courtroom, Perry’s office and Cato’s office.
Willis said the problem began with gutter issues. Materials filled the holes in the gutters and backed up water, which then flowed to places on the roof where it wasn’t meant to sit.
The location of the worst leak is in the eastern corner of the building, or the left-most corner when looking at the front of the courthouse.
Coddington said the ball was moving quickly and expects workers to begin repairs soon.
The Courthouse was renovated in 1999, but has not been maintained well since.