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Renovations underway at courthouse

The inside of the Franklin County Courthouse is receiving a much-needed facelift while other changes should help with energy efficiency, officials said.
According to Probate Judge Barry Moore, renovations are underway on the second floor of the courthouse including the hallway area where a significant water leak had damaged ceiling tiles, floor tiles and the sheetrock on the walls.
“We have been working for some time now to determine exactly where the leak was coming from and how to get it stopped,” Moore said.
“We figured out the leak was coming from the roof and once we repaired it, we made sure the repairs were holding up and the leak wasn’t reoccurring before we started work replacing the floor and other areas that were damaged.”
Moore said because of the sloping on the second floor leading to the elevators, re-tiling the upstairs hallway wasn’t an option.
“Because of the floor’s structure, we knew if we put down more tile to replace the ones that were damaged, we would end up having the same problem with the tiles cracking and splitting, so we have opted to put down industrial-grade carpet in the hallway,” Moore said.
“We know carpet won’t be ideal because of the upkeep involved, but we think it will be the best option for the long-term.”
Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing, whose office is on the second floor of the courthouse, said he was happy with the plans for repairs and improvements.
“I know it will be difficult to maintain the carpet’s appearance because of the amount of traffic we have up here, but because of that traffic, it tends to get noisy on this end of the hallway,” Rushing said.
“The carpet will reduce the amount of noise for these offices, which will be a good thing for our employees and for those who have business on this floor.”
Moore said they have already painted one end of the second-floor hallway except for the doorframes, which they’ll be working on this week along with the wall area near the elevator that suffered water damage, which will need to be re-mudded and re-painted.
He added that District Judge Paula McDowell also re-painted the small courtroom and fixed some of the dated and chipping paint in there as well.
“Once we get this work done, the upstairs area will look much nicer,” Moore said.
“This was something we’ve needed to do for sometime but we couldn’t get started until we got the water leak under control. Now that that’s taken care of, we can move forward with making the upstairs area look a lot better.”
But the renovations and repairs aren’t strictly cosmetic.
Moore said there have been a couple of updates made that will help with energy efficiency in the older, two-story structure.
“There are several ceiling tiles that need to be replaced, which will cut down on drafts and loss of heat and air,” he said.
“We also took down all the old blinds in the courtrooms that were dirty and broken and replaced them with window tinting that will be much easier to clean as well as more energy efficient.”
Moore said repairs will continue over the next few weeks as the budget and time allows.
“I really appreciate all the hard work by Bill, Terry, Loretta and Tommy on our maintenance staff,” Moore said. “They have done a great job and the courthouse will be a much nicer place once they are through.
“I also appreciate the departments heads in all the offices that have had to be inconvenienced by the work taking place. They’ve been very understanding and seem to be pleased with the changes and updates we’re making.”

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