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Courthouse dome project moves ahead

FAIRMONT — Bob Mickelson of ISG Architect and Engineers was at the Martin County Commission meeting this week to talk about moving forward with replacement of the courthouse copper dome and repairing the dome clock.

Last December, the board received a report from ISG stating that the dome has sustained significant wear and tear over the years, and leaking has now developed. The report offered repair options, including replacing the copper dome, clock restoration, structural and electrical work, and mural restoration inside the courthouse.

Mickelson provided the board with revised bid packages for the clock restoration, and copper dome replacement and restoration. The construction estimate is $4.3 million, with total project cost at $4.6 million because of some additional fees.

“Because of the specialized nature on both of these pieces of construction, rather than seeking the low bid, we’d like to look at some other opportunities that are there to pursue and make sure there’s qualified people working on it because of the specialization,” Mickelson said.

He said there may be grants available through the state historic preservation office but there might be a lot of paperwork involved.

The design specs phase will take about three months so the idea is to start the project early next year. Both the copper dome and clock restoration would be done simultaneously.

When asked if the project would take about a year to complete, Mickelson said: “It could go into two construction seasons on the dome based on the complexity of fabricating all that copper up there.”

The plan is to potentially get started on the tuck pointing yet this fall in places where a lot of scaffolding will not be required, then finish the tuck pointing on the upper portion of the courthouse next spring.

Commissioners approved engaging with ISG for the design, specifications, bidding and reconstruction of the Martin County Courthouse dome and clock.

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