Buchanan County Courthouse needs costly roof repair

The Buchanan County Courthouse/file photo

By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

The Buchanan County Courthouse needs a new roof.

And this roofing project is unlike most roofing
projects. County officials have to comply with historic preservation rules as
they seek to tear off the old roof and put on a new one, a project likely to
cost more than a million dollars.

Presiding County Commissioner Scott Nelson says
the roof is showing its age.

“But there’s some leaks,” Nelson tells host Barry
Birr on the KFEQ Hotline. “You go up into the attic of the courthouse and like
any old building, what do you think you find? A couple of buckets catching
(water). Kind of see some air, see some sunshine coming through; probably not
good.”

Nelson says the County Commission will seek bids
on the project that has an estimated price tag of $1.2 million.

Nelson points out, due to its historic nature,
any repairs to the Buchanan County Courthouse must comply with historic
preservation standards.

Nelson says though the courthouse is old, it is
still in very good shape.

“There’s constant maintenance on any old building,”
Nelson says. “You never know what it’s going to be. But, over the last probably
four or five years all the interior guts of the place, the heating elements,
the cooling elements, the furnaces, that’s all got replaced. It’s all up to
date.”

The work must replace the roof, seal the dome,
and make other needed repairs to the Buchanan County Courthouse, which was
built in 1873.

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