Renovation Update

State kicks in $500,000
to make Jefferson County
Courthouse accessible

Grant will pay for larger elevator,
other access changes

By Laura Hodges
Contributing Writer

(December 2010) – Jefferson County, Ind., will get some help from the state of Indiana to rebuild the interior of its Courthouse.

Jefferson County Courthouse

Photo by Darrel Taylor

The cupola and
clock were erected in
October atop the
renovated Jefferson
County Courthouse.
Now officials are ready
to bid out the work
to renovate the inside
of the building.

A $500,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs will allow the addition of a new, roomier elevator and other accessibility improvements that will help the county comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The Jefferson County Courthouse was destroyed in an accidental fire on May 20, 2009.
The County Commissioners are poised to award a contract for interior rebuilding during December to one of five competing companies. Architect Ron Creviston is evaluating the bids while the commissioners wait for the state to complete authorization of the $500,000 Community Development Block Grant.
The commissioners had hoped to get the interior work completed by May 6, 2011, but that date will be pushed farther into the future due to the delay caused by the grant process.
HGC Construction of Cincinnati submitted the lowest base bid of $3.5 million for the Courthouse work. Other bids:
• Glen Roy Construction of Indianapolis, $3.7 million;
• Morel Construction of Louisville, $3.7 million;
• Poole Group of Dillsboro, $4.4 million;
• Parco Construction of Louisville, $4.4 million.
Commission President Tom Pietrykowski said that whichever firm gets the bid will receive the same instructions from the Commissioners: “We’re going to encourage them to buy locally and hire locally as much as possible.” Only American citizens can be hired to work on the project, he said.
Jefferson County was also awarded a $250,000 grant from the City of Lawrenceburg’s gaming revenue, which was to have been used for a Courthouse addition. The Jefferson County Council nixed the addition, however, so it is uncertain whether the county can keep that money.
John Staicer, president and executive director of Historic Madison Inc., has urged the commissioners to modify the grant request so that the $250,000 from Lawrenceburg can be used to restore the Courthouse’s original windows.
He said the first floor windows are an original part of the 1855 structure and should be retained because the Courthouse has been designated as an outstanding architectural contribution to the National Historic Landmark District.
“Loss of original materials will have a deleterious effect on the building and could affect the Landmark designation,” said Staicer.
When bids were solicited for interior renovation, the contractors had the option of submitting alternative bids for windows. The price could vary greatly according to whether new windows or restored windows are selected for the project.
Asked about whether the county will modify the City of Lawrenceburg grant request, commissioner Julie Berry said, “We’ll have to see the terms of the contract before we make that decision.”

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