The Cortland County Buildings and Grounds Department officially began the process Friday to repair the exterior of the county courthouse, according to department manager Chuck Miller.
The ministry’s list of projects includes renovating the courthouse’s main steps and roof, as well as replacing two exit doors.
“We try to do as much service as possible on time so that we can save as much money as possible for taxpayers,” Miller said. The projects will be completed before preparing for the county courthouse’s 100th year in 2023.
On Friday, the department began demolishing the current courthouse steps, which were closed to the public for safety reasons. Miller said the process of removing the steps and clearing the area will take the department “about a week.”
More than $1 million between the county’s U.S. bailout and construction reserve funds will be used to cover project costs. County Legislator Paul Heider (R-LD-16), who also serves as chairman of the county’s buildings and grounds committee, noted that there will most likely be additional funds needed to cover the full costs of the project. .
“I hope it will be approved by the legislature,” Heider added.
Heider mentioned that a request for proposal will be sent out soon for the pricing of the new stages.
“By removing (the steps) it will give the architect a more accurate overview of what we need to put together for the specifications to go out to tender,” Miller said.
Miller mentioned that the new stages will be “as close to the original (stages) as possible.” He was unsure when the last time extensive work was carried out on the steps, but noted it was before he joined the ministry.
“We will work with the National Historical Society to make this process acceptable moving forward,” Miller said. He added that the new roof of the courthouse will be much the same as the current one.
For the courthouse roof renovation, Miller predicts construction could begin in mid-May. The last time the roof was replaced was 25 years ago, he added.
Heider expects a bid to be accepted for the renovation of the courthouse roof at the building and grounds committee meeting on April 12.
The contract for the two exit gates is “moving forward,” Miller said. Despite the estimated construction of this project scheduled for early August, Miller said it was “to get the material for the doors (in a timely manner).”
“The whole legislature is very excited that (these projects) have started. We are all committed to seeing the courthouse restored,” Heider said, which he noted is the indication he received from fellow lawmakers he told about the plans.