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Friday, May 6, 2016

Courthouse dome in need of repair

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The dome on the roof of the Clay County Courthouse is in dire need of repair. The dome has recently developed a leak that threatens to damage the courthouse and its equipment every time it rains.

Work on the courthouse dome will cost approximately $500,000 and will begin in early July, County Commissioner Daryl Andrews said.

The project, which is expected to last 90 working days, will be rather involved but will not cosmetically change the dome.

Brazil-based Pell Roofing was selected for the job and their contract was officially signed Monday. Andrews said the contract was for roughly $500,000, but the county has issued $600,000 in bonds to cover any additional work that may be needed in the process of fixing the dome.

"The concern was that it wouldn't make it another year without severe damage," Andrews said. In its current state, the dome is leaking rather badly and threatening to damage the courthouse and its equipment every time it rains.

So far the dome has weathered two or three summer storms, including the large storm that hit Indiana three weeks ago, without causing significant problems.

To fix the dome, the copper tiles placed on top will have to be removed one by one and numbered. The roof will then be repaired. After all of this, the tiles will be replaced in the order they were removed.

"We're not changing any design or color," Brad Pell of Pell Roofing, said. "Once we get done, you won't really be able to tell we were up there."

Pell said the company will be implementing a full safety system to ensure the well-being of its employees and the courthouse itself. Measures will be taken to protect the stained-glass dome on the courthouse's interior, and a scaffolding with rails will be wrapped around the outer dome.

Setting up the safety system and scaffolding could take upwards of 30 days. Additionally, the price in the company's contract may change due to the fact that the condition of some of the lumber under the copper is unknown.

"It's very labor-intensive," Pell said. "Very meticulous... slow-going, labor intensive work. But that courthouse is beautiful -- the copper on that roof is amazing."

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