The first phase of a multiyear historic preservation effort will begin next month at the 104-year-old Douglas County Courthouse.
County commissioners on Monday morning approved a bid from Restoration and Waterproofing Contractors Inc., to be the contractor for the project. The bid was for more than $1.12 million. The firm has offices in Kansas City, Kan., Topeka and Wichita.
"It's such a beautiful old building we ought to take care of it," Commissioner Charles Jones said.
Jones and Commissioner Jere McElhaney approved the bid. Commissioner Bob Johnson was unable to attend the meeting but McElhaney said Johnson was aware of the bid and would have voted for it as well.
The work, which will take about a year to complete, includes repairs to the chimney, clock tower and west entrance stone restoration.
The county applied for Heritage Trust Fund grant to help pay for the project but was not accepted because of limited funds available, county purchasing director Jackie Waggoner said. The county also applied for tax credits available under the Kansas State Rehabilitation Tax Credit program. Waggoner said she thinks the county can sell the tax credits for about $250,000.
Depending on available funding, additional historic restoration projects at the courthouse will be done in future years. DGM Consultants, of Overland Park, is working with the county as the consulting engineer for the project.