140 and counting

Commissioners approve feasibility study for improvements to Warren County Courthouse

What would it take to ensure the 140-year-old Warren County Courthouse lives on for another 140 years?

A feasibility study was approved by the Warren County Commissioners to try to answer that question.

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston said that the focus of the study would be on the roof and the exterior of the building and a “number of other things related to the facade and long-term viability of it.”

He told the other commissioners that part of their ongoing engagement with E&M Engineering was the production of a quote that coordinates their work and the work of other firms they work with to complete the feasibility study.

“A portion of this is an exterior refurbishment,” Eggleston said. “A portion would be a roof refurbishment. The building hasn’t had any major work done in 20 years. The bladder system in the roof to collect and expel water was temporary. It does gather water (but) freezing and thawing is creating some issues up there.”

As far as the facade, Eggleston said there are “some pieces falling” falling.

An additional aspect, he said, would be an engineering review regarding “heat and light on the exterior and how that impacts structural integrity.”

The quote for the study is $44,100.

Eggleston said it was a study similar to what the City of Warren completed for the municipal building and would allow them to “get a complete sense… (and) projection of what the costs are to fix those needs. That’s used to pull down grant funding and allocate resources. It is difficult to do anything with the exterior of the building without a feasibility study done first.”

He proposed using Act 13 funds from the state’s unconventional gas drilling impact fee to cover the cost and added that work with a historical consultant and someone who specializes in historical roof preservation are part of the agreement.

Roughly $159,000 are available in that specific pool of Act 13 funds.