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RBC — Rio Blanco County’s courthouse is getting a bit of a facelift.
And the new look is almost complete.
Pat Hooker, county administrator, said the courthouse remodeling project is close to being finished.
“The contractors and bricklayers have done, I think, a really nice job,” Hooker said. “By the end of this month, the entire project will be done.”
Not only that, but the project will come in a little under budget.
“The county budgeted, overall, $1.2 million for that project,” Hooker said. “We anticipate coming in a little under that, somewhere around $1.1 million.”
The project, which started late last fall, Hooker said, covered several different areas of the courthouse.
The work included: Remodeling restrooms on all three levels, installing a new elevator inside the main south entrance, putting a new covering over the jail recreation yard and installing a new inmate booking area, and removing asbestos tile on the first and second floors and installing new tile.
The tile wasn’t included in the project originally.
“That old tile was discovered when we pulled up the old carpet, in order to replace it with the new tile,” Hooker said. “When it was decided to remove the old tile as well, that is when we discovered it had a minimal amount of asbestos in the tile.
“We made a decision to contract a firm that specializes in the removal of asbestos products, to ensure the tile was removed and disposed of properly.”
Perhaps most noticeable to courthouse visitors will be the new vestibules on the south and west ends of the building.
“It will make the courthouse much more attractive,” Hooker said. “But, really, it is an energy efficiency airlock. Hopefully it will keep the cold air or hot air from coming into the courthouse and make temperature control more consistent.”
In addition, the handicap parking, formerly located on the north side of the courthouse, was moved to the east side.
“What we’ve found, in winter, that area (on the north side) had snow and ice buildup, because it was always in the shade,” Hooker said. “So, we’ve worked with the town of Meeker and created handicap parking access on Fifth Street.”