County board acts for new roof

Possible $1.9 million courthouse project to use best materials for replacing the old

Posted 3/13/23

The Edgar County Board is moving ahead with putting a new roof on the Edgar County Courthouse, including new decorative metal work replicating the deteriorated features currently in place.

A bid …

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County board acts for new roof

Possible $1.9 million courthouse project to use best materials for replacing the old


The Edgar County Board is moving ahead with putting a new roof on the Edgar County Courthouse, including new decorative metal work replicating the deteriorated features currently in place.

A bid by Kreiling Roofing Company, Peoria, was approved during the Wednesday, March 8, board meeting. The $1.934 million project is for an all-new red slate roof, upgrading a sheet metal section of the roof by switching to copper and continuing the copper upgrade to include gutters and downspouts and an area where asphalt shingles are in use.

Part of the price covers contingency funding for stonework that may need tuckpointed and addressing undetected damage that may exist under the current roof. That work cannot be determined until tradesmen are on the roof and can personally observe the conditions.

Another feature of the price is hiring CORE Construction, Peoria, as project manager. CORE has a responsibility to guarantee the project does not exceed the $1.9 million cost. The price, however, does not include architectural fees for Klinger & Associates or asbestos abatement, if that is necessary.

Most of the discussion about the courthouse roof occurred during the Monday, March 6, study session.

County board chairman Jeff Voigt said the building and grounds committee consisting of himself and board members Karl Farnham Jr., Russ Lawton and Andy Patrick attended the bid opening. After reviewing the base bids and alternatives, it was the committee’s recommendation to go beyond the base bid and spend the extra $100,000 for the copper alternative.

According to documents prepared by CORE Construction, installing copper sheets with soldered seams where galvanized metal and asphalt shingles are now in use creates a projected life span of 80-100 years for that portion of the roof. Coupled with slate elsewhere the courthouse should have a roof that can last for three or four generations of Edgar County citizens.

“We are recommending to the rest of the board to spend the extra money and do it right,” said Voight. “Four generations in the future will appreciate this action.”

Patrick also supported going with the better quality materials. He acknowledged this makes the roof more expensive now, but it saves money in the long run because the material will last longer and is unlikely to require the repairs a less durable surface will encounter.

Doing it right the first time appealed to Patrick.

“The biggest expense is getting on the roof if we have to get up there to recaulk or do something else,” he said.

Getting a new roof on the courthouse should solve several headaches for county officials. Edgar County Sheriff Jeff Wood reported the state’s attorney’s office has experienced ongoing water infiltration issues for a lengthy period of time. Patrick immediately identified the water source.

“It’s part of the roof problem,” said Patrick. “It’s where part of the metal roof blew off.”

Representatives from CORE Construction confirmed the bid specifications call for replacing the roof hips and decorative finials with sheet metal. Those features currently appear to be galvanized metal, which has rusted through in places and is brittle in other locations.

Patrick asked if putting sheet metal into contact with copper creates a risk for accelerated corrosion. He suggested having the hips and finials made with copper.

“I never dreamed the county would be willing to pay to go the copper route,” said architect Michael Fries, explaining the original decision to fabricate the finials from sheet metal as part of the bid specs.

Fries agreed copper is the best choice but he was uncertain how much that will add to the project.

It was also noted the contractor bid on the basis of using sheet metal and will probably hire a subcontractor to fabricate the features. Moving to copper will require a change order and possibly alter the time when the contractor orders the work.

CORE’s representatives were asked to discuss the matter with the contractor for more accurate information.


Courthouse elevator

While the board members accepted the more expensive option for the roof, they were parsimonious when it came to the elevator shaft that dominates the center of the courthouse.

The building committee also discussed options for the elevator with an estimated cost of $600,000-$700,000 to rebuild the shaft in place and modernize it to meet current code requirements, $1.5 million to relocate the shaft elsewhere in the building or $2.15 million to construct an exterior elevator.

Voigt said the committee was split on how to do the elevator with two favoring leaving it in place, one supporting relocating it inside the building and one preferring the outside option.

The elevator blocks an original stained-glass feature that helped illuminate the courthouse interior.

“When you see a courthouse without that shaft, it will sway you — but that’s a lot of money,” said Wood.

The architect who built the Edgar County Courthouse also built at least two other Illinois courthouses using the same design. One of those counties did not put an elevator shaft in the middle of the building

Board discussion revealed a split on how best to address the elevator.

Farnham said the least expensive option of keeping the elevator in its current location is a no-brainer, and Dan Bruner agreed.

“We’ve got a lot of money going in different directions,” said Phil Ludington. “I don’t know how important pretty is.”

On a roll call vote to have Klinger & Associates design a fix that keeps the elevator in place, Voigt, Farnham, Ludington, Bruner and Lisa Ellis voted yes. Lawton and Patrick voted no.

“We would all like to do more,” said Voigt. “Maybe we can have an alternative to improve the looks.”


Flock Cameras

The county board, working in conjunction with Paris, Kansas and Chrisman, is making it difficult for the criminal element to move about undetected.

County board members approved the lease of six Flock Safety and Security Cameras that read license plates and watch for vehicles suspected of being used in a crime.

Sheriff Jeff Wood and his staff will determine the locations for placing the cameras after conferring with other jurisdictions. One of the cameras will be kept for mobile use to monitor areas where crime might spike.