Fencing goes up as exterior courthouse works begins

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick Safety fencing stands around the North Main Street entrance to the Madison County Courthouse in London. Soon a large lift will be moved onto the lawn to allow for roof inspection and repairs.
Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Safety fencing stands around the North Main Street entrance to the Madison County Courthouse in London. Soon a large lift will be moved onto the lawn to allow for roof inspection and repairs.

(Posted Sept. 8, 2016)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Fencing erected around the North Main Street entrance to the Madison County Courthouse signals the start of exterior repair work to the 126-year-old building.

The first step is inspection to determine what repairs are needed. The top priority is finding and fixing leaks in the roofing. The Madison County commissioners hired Allstate Exteriors of London to perform the assessment and to fix small problems, such as loose tiles, along the way. Fixes estimated to cost over $50,000 will be bid out.

“There is no particular timeline, and we don’t know how much everything is going to cost,” said David Dhume, commissioner.

The assessment process hit a snag early. Allstate was set to start inspection last week, but the lift the county purchased failed to extend to its full 160-foot height. Joe Mullins of Allstate said his crews will work on minor slate repairs using smaller lifts until the large lift is operational.

The county purchased the lift to control costs. Originally, the commissioners considered purchasing and erecting scaffolding, but were unable to locate the building’s original blueprints, necessary to design the scaffolding. They also looked at renting a lift large enough to reach the top of the building’s clock tower, but rental fees came to $1,500 per day. Knowing the repairs would take at the very least a year, they decided to purchase a lift outright, finding one for just over $40,000. When the work is done, they will sell the lift.

Allstate also is advising the commissioners on options for fixing the roof over the Madison County-London City Health District and Tractor Supply Center (TSC), both located in a county-owned building on Lafayette Street in London.

Allstate has performed repairs to the roof, installed by another company, several times in recent years. Mullins said water ponds on the roof. He blames the problem in part on the roughly 400 pounds of pea gravel applied to the roof. It was meant to act as a ballast and absorb moisture, however such an application is not recommended for a pitched roof, he said. Rain sends the pea gravel running off the roof and into the gutters.

“Patching will get us by, but it is not a solution,” said Paul Gross, commissioner.

Mullins estimates the cost to replace the roof at roughly $250,000. The project would take 60 days to complete. The commissioners plan to bid out the project now, with work to start in the spring.

Previous articleWest Jeff pool revenues fall short again
Next articleCounty gets good pricing on paving projects

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.