New carpeting is the latest in a series of improvements and repairs being made at the Union County Courthouse.
On Memorial Day, the courthouse was closed but not empty as personnel from Ben’s Paint & Carpet Store were busy taking up old carpet and putting down new carpet in the lobby and the offices of the courthouse’s main floor. Also present was Union County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair who said the four floors of the courthouse were long overdue for new carpeting.
“The best we could tell was the old carpet was put down 10 or 12 years ago,” Sinclair said Monday. “It was dirty, soiled and worn.”
Sinclair said the replacement of the carpeting began on the third floor of the courthouse and was done on weekends to minimize any disruptions.
“We did it over several weekends,” Sinclair said. “The first place done was the law library. We brought in inmate labor to move furniture and equipment. We just worked our way down.”
The new carpeting is the latest in repairs and renovations that have taken place at the courthouse in recent months.
Earlier this year, workers installed a “warranty roof” and made other improvements designed to eliminate leaks and prevent future leaks at the courthouse. The leaks were discovered in March and a subsequent inspection determined they were caused by a combination of some galvanized pipe that had rusted and the deterioration of a small corner of the substructure that holds the roof up. The pipes, rafters and ceiling joints had been installed when the courthouse was built a century ago.
To correct the problem, the roof and the deteriorated elements were replaced. The new roof is a sloping commercial membrane roof designed to facilitate drainage and reduce the chance of leaks developing anytime in the near future.
Sinclair said the next round of improvements at the courthouse will be painting, and while the new carpet and roof were installed by contractors hired by the county, the painting will be largely handled by inmates.
“We have some inmates who are painters and we will be putting them to work painting the offices at the courthouse,” Sinclair said. “We have an inmate who is a sheet rocker and an inmate who is a painter. They’ll be helping us here with the painting of the courthouse offices just as they and other inmates are helping us with the renovations at the old Chrysler building.”
As in the case of the new carpeting, Sinclair said the painting will be done on the weekends to minimize any disruptions to courthouse operations.
The installation of the new carpeting cost approximately $60,000 and is being funded as one-time capital expenditure placed in this year’s building maintenance budget. The painting will also be paid for out of the maintenance budget.