Jerry Berggren and Doug Etling from Berggren Architects met with the commissioners to discuss the measures that need to be taken to fix numerous issues with the courthouse.

UPDATE: Commissioners learn of costs associated with courthouse renovations, major repairs

The reconvened meeting of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners on Thursday morning led to the decision to move forward with one option presented to them by Berggren Architects for the repairs and renovation of the courthouse. 

After taking time to weigh the options, the board approved Option 2. Option 2 included the installation of synthetic slate shingles in addition to the other repair and restoration work which includes exterior masonry, grading and water remediation and repair to the bay windows. 

The total cost of the project is estimated at $1,778,499.00. Prior to this, the county had been building a reserve for such projects that has already reached $1,500,000.00. The remaining funds will be allocated during the budgeting process.


Original Story

The Wayne County Board of Commissioners met in regular session this week with several agenda items to discuss.

One of those agenda items had a large price tag attached to it thanks to some issues found during a comprehensive study of the building was done.

Jerry Berggren and Doug Etling of Berggren Architects visited the commissioners to discuss possible options for handling the numerous issues the company found during its study of the historic building.

Berggren Architects was hired to help with the process of having the courthouse's mortar joints and stone work repaired. The company specializes in historic buildings. 

During their study of the building, the company used a drone to take photos of areas of the building not easily accessed. Upon seeing the photos, the company determined the scope of work needed to be expanded if the commissioners didn't want to have the mortar and stone work to be for nothing.

Areas of concern included the roof and the bay windows. A myriad of problems including improper installation of roofing and flashing materials has led to water getting into the building. In addition, the bay windows have water problems of their own and require attention if they are to continue donning the building.

Photos of the damages were shown in a meeting a month ago, Berggren was hoping to have the cost estimate by last meeting, however the poor weather conditions prevented the company from visiting during the last commissioners meeting.

Berggren and Etling discussed three options the commissioners have for addressing the roof problems. Each of them requires the courthouse to be reroofed, but the materials differ. 

In option one, the courthouse would replace the current asphalt shingles with another set of asphalt shingles. This would be done properly with proper flashing to ensure the roof would no longer leak. The life span of an asphalt roof is roughly 25 to 30 years.

In the second option, the roof replacement material would be a synthetic slate shingle. This shingle would look like the slate roof that originally sat upon the courthouse and would offer 50-60 years of life, relatively maintenance free.

The final option included replacing the asphalt shingles with a real slate roof, which was part of the original design of the courthouse. That original roof lasted over 100 years before it was replaced. 

In all three scenarios, the main difference in cost comes from the type of material chosen, Berggren said. The labor is relatively similar in each situation but materials differ. 

Berggren gave an estimate for the work on the courthouse (i.e. drainage system to pull water from foundation, masonry, stone and bay window updates) without the addition of the roof. That figure totalled $1,107,761.00. 

Berggren went on to couple that figure with the each roof replacement option.

Option one, replacing asphalt with asphalt would bring the total to $1,695,675.00.

Option two's total would reach $1,778.499.00 to replace the asphalt shingles with synthetic slate.

Finally in option three where the roof would be replaced with a real slate roof, the total for the project amounts to $2,086,675.00.

The commissioners needed time to look over the documents provided by Berggren before they made any decisions and motioned for recess after speaking with Berggren and Etling. 

The commissioners will continue their meeting on Thursday, March 22 at 10 a.m. in the courthouse. 

Prior to meeting with Berggren Architects, the commissioners made changes to the road haul agreement being sent to Next Era Energy for use of the county roads in the wind energy project being constructed near Carroll.

County Attorney Mike Pieper brought his concerns on a few items to the board and made the changes discussed, such as imposing a $1,500 per tower access fee on those towers that are accessed via county road. 

Depth at which to bury cables, time limits on compliance and other fees were also discussed. 

Pieper also discussed a lawsuit he was sent information on regarding opiod drug use. 

A national group is suing pharmacy corporations for essentially pushing the medications made with opiods. The lawsuit aims to recoup costs associated with jail time and the like due to an uptick in arrests caused by abuse of the drugs.

After discussing it with the board and getting insight from Sheriff Jason Dwinnel, Pieper will be gathering more information on the lawsuit to bring before the board before they will make any decision. 

The Wayne Herald

Mailing Address:
114 Main Street
Wayne, NE 68787
Phone: 402-375-2600

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