The Douglas County Courthouse will receive a new, "old" look soon.
This morning, the county commission accepted the low bid of $176,430 from Vincent Roofing, Topeka, to replace the building's slate roof, which sustained heavy damage in the March 26 hailstorm. The bid includes replacing the copper guttering and the dome above the clock tower. All but $1,000 of the cost will be paid by the county's insurer, St. Paul Insurance Co.
Bill Bell, county buildings and grounds director, reported that much of the slate was cracked or chipped in the hailstorm. Since the storm, the slate has sustained more damage from high winds. Most of the copper guttering and decoration also was dented by the hail and is susceptible to splitting.
Because the turn-of-the-century courthouse is registered as a historical landmark, the Kansas State Historical Society must approve the repairs before they begin.
Pam Madl, county personnel and risk management director, said the new roof had to look like the old roof to gain state approval. The copper dome will be removed for repair, again under state auspices, she said. The society does realize, however, that the new copper won't be the same color as copper not requiring replacement.
The county did not announce the project's starting date but intends to have the work finished before winter arrives. Mrs. Madl said the work would take from two to four months to complete.
In other business, the commission:
Approved a request by the city of Baldwin to plat the Baldwin City Industrial Park. Rick Shain, Baldwin city manager, said platting the 30-acre park at once was more economical than doing it as each lot was sold to a business. The park, located east of Baldwin on U.S. Highway 56, was platted into five lots that are slightly larger than three acres each.
Approved a revised agreement with the Kansas Turnpike Authority for maintenance of certain bridges over the Kansas Turnpike.
Approved the June 26 minutes and commission orders.