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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ind. Courts - Monroe County "Courthouse now shinier and more solid after major makeover"

Dawn Hewitt reported Nov. 16th in the Bloomington Herald Times ($$) in a story that bgeins:

Monroe County’s iconic, grand old courthouse hasn’t looked this good since it was dedicated in 1907, and it has never been more structurally sound.

Its renovation, restoration and refurbishment were on public display during an open house Thursday night following work that shuttered it for more than a year.

Most of the work wasn’t visible: It’s under the floors, behind the ceiling and walls. A new structural support system will keep the building strong for its second century and beyond.

A year and a half ago, floors sagged — a couple inches out of level in spots. The building appeared to be slowly collapsing in on itself. New steel beams in the ceilings of the basement, first and second floors and in the walls should prevent that from happening again for a very long time.

Open house visitors also didn’t get to see the basement, where a new, energy-efficient boiler and chiller are housed. Replacing them wasn’t part of the original rehab plan, but it made sense to do while the whole building was being overhauled.

And while the ceilings and walls were ripped up, the building was rewired for the Internet age.

The bottom line: $5,015,615.63, not all from taxpayers. The Community Foundation for Bloomington and Monroe County footed the bill for historic preservation work. Cable franchise fees paid for the new lighting sound systems in the Nat U. Hill meeting room, where county council and commissioners meetings are broadcast on CATS TV.

Cassady Electric and Gayle Cook paid for a new lighting system that spotlights the murals just below the dome — murals recently cleaned by experts from the Indiana University Hope School of Fine Arts.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 17, 2012 01:48 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts