County buildings need maintenance | New


KINGWOOD – The Preston County Courthouse and other county buildings are in need of maintenance, county administrator Kathy Mace told the county commission on Tuesday.

“We need to become more aggressive in developing a plan of action on how to tackle these maintenance issues. It won’t happen in a year, ”Mace said.

She spoke to a structural engineer about installing a monitoring device on a cracked steel beam on the ground floor of the courthouse.

“We’re working on this,” Mace said. Meanwhile, “Repointing, sealing, caulking, and now we’re working on the lintels, removing the rust and filling it with a bit of [polymer] should be completed today. However, we need to keep talking about the courthouse. “

The public has been stranded in the back section of the courthouse on Court Street since last winter.

“There’s no question the stone is being pushed,” Mace said.

The big cornerstones will have to be raised in determining how to proceed, she said.

Keystone, the Pennsylvania company doing the other work on the west side of the courthouse, is still on site with its elevator. It’s very difficult to get a masonry business, Mace said.

“We can do that through a change order if we determine that delaying the repair could cause difficulty,” Mace said. “In discussions with the contractor, there is no doubt that the water is draining behind and there is a space there, that the freezing and thawing of winter could cause us a problem.

She asked Keystone for a quote on the work, but told commissioners the decision had not yet been made on whether to continue with the work. This will require scaffolding and working with utility companies to cover the lines.

“The stones will actually have to be removed. These are really big stones, ”Mace said.

The problem is in a section of the building called the “bump out”, where an emergency staircase has been added.

“I think it’s a good idea to do that. We’ve been having trouble with this here for some time, and if they are able to give us some sort of estimate of what it would cost, this would be a good time to do it while the weather is good and before that. we were getting in a situation… with a catastrophic thing, God forbid, falling with this stone, ”said Commission Chairman Don Smith.

Mace will work with the contractor to gather more information about the project.

The Preston County Courthouse opened on August 25, 1934.

It’s also time to submit grant applications, Mace told commissioners. She asked the commissioners if they wanted to apply for a grant for courthouse facilities.

The rest of the courthouse also needs to be repointed and sealed, and there is still water entering the courthouse basement. It might be possible to halt the project over a few years, she said.

– The administrator said she was still awaiting an engineer’s report on how to install a 75-inch television on the circuit courtroom wall at the behest of Judge Steve Shaffer. Mace’s concern is that the walls are plaster on brick.

– The passage from the septic tank to the municipal sewer at the Preston County Animal Shelter is still in progress. This project must be coordinated with the pouring of a new section of concrete in the shelter.

– An engineer recommended the installation of a concrete curb in the parking lot of the courthouse annex, where the old drive-thru takes water. She plans to coordinate this concrete work with work at the shelter, Mace said.

– Mace said she doesn’t know yet if the Sheriff’s Department building will need a total roof replacement or just repairs. In addition, some HVAC equipment in county buildings is nearing the end of its expected life, and paint and flooring needs are being taken into account in common areas of county buildings.

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