Bellefontaine Examiner

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Court reunion set for new year

Logan County’s criminal, civil, probate and juvenile courts and the clerk of courts will be staying put until mid-January as crews continue to renovate and repair the Carnegie Building.


Jeff Plank, foreground, and Tyler Ford roll out a section of carpeting Thursday in the Carnegie Building at Main Street and Sandusky Avenue. (EXAMINER PHOTO | JOEL E. MAST)

Some of the heating and cooling systems have been installed and new carpeting was going down Thursday in the 1978 addition, but work on the original section is more extensive as contractors cut new hole for duct work and upgrade electrical service.

“The contract calls for them to be done in mid-January,” said Logan County Commissioner Tony Core, “but (retired Family Court Judge C. Douglas Chamberlain) has been pushing them pretty hard.”

Judge Chamberlain, who is the county’s overseer on the project, convinced contractor Thomas & Marker Construction Co. to bring in portable heaters so that paint could be applied to walls and work could begin on plaster repairs.

The county’s risk sharing policy is covering the nearly $600,000 repair and renovation project. A June 29 windstorm weakened the Logan County Courthouse tower and forced the courts and officeholders out of the 1870 structure.

Scattered about the county’s properties, all but the juvenile probation staff will be reunited under one roof once the Carnegie project ends.

Most court sessions will be conducted at the facility, but felony criminal trials will continue in Council Chambers of the Bellefontaine Municipal Building.

“We really appreciated the city’s cooperation and willingness to let us use their facilities,” Commissioner John Bayliss said.

As for the courthouse, the $717,000 demolition of the damaged tower is nearly complete.

Midstate Contractors Inc. has sealed up the roof and continues to dismantle portions of the tower now on the courthouse lawn.

Unrefined bricks from under the tower have been removed and will be offered to the public as souvenirs in the near future. The bricks are not suitable for reuse nor for exterior applications, Mr. Core said.

Commissioners will now turn their attention to a “deliberate selection process” to find a suitable contractor to rebuild the tower, Mr. Core said.

That decision should come early next year.

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