Clock towers' renovation comes with roof repair

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A $440,000 contract to fix the Marshall County Courthouse roof, renovate the clocks and repair the building's parapets is being recommended by the county commissioners' Building Committee.

In a unanimous vote on Monday, the committee led by Commissioner Mickey King endorsed the advice received from Nashville-based architect James Kennon whose father Emmett supervised renovation of the Courthouse Annex in 1997.

"At any time we'll have 15-20 guys working," according to Billy Gatlin, project manager for D.F. Chase Construction Co., Nashville, the general contractor recommended by Kennon.

Those jobs will be for roofers, masons, painters, and those skilled in heating, ventilation and air conditioning work, Gatlin said.

Marshall County commissioners will be asked to vote on the Building Committee's recommendation when they meet on Monday evening, Oct. 26.

"We're making provisions to start work once the contract has officially been awarded," Gatlin said. "We have a superintendent we'll assign to the job and he'll be here every day of the job and will supervise construction by the subcontractors."

In addition to the tradesmen's work, the four clocks' machinery will be removed and sent to Florida where an expert in such work will repair and maintain the system.

Work on the clocks is estimated at $12,000, Kennon said.

HVAC units on the roof are powered by natural gas. They will stay where they are, but instead of pipes reaching across the top of the roof, there will be new pipes installed to go to the HVAC along a new route under the roof.

"At each clock tower, there is, for lack of a better term, an eyebrow area," Gatlin said of the curves on each side of the four clocks. "We'll be working to eliminate the leaks and give the courthouse a new roof and a facelift.

"We'll be working to improve the courthouse, maintain the architecture and meet the expectations of the county commissioners," Gatlin said.

The contract awaiting approval by the commissioners specifies 80 calendar workdays for the project, plus allowable rain days.

This part of the project could be done by the end of February, Kennon said.

Another phase of the courthouse renovation could deal with windows, handicap access, walls and other aspects of the building. That work might increase the total project to about $1 million, according to discussion among members of the Building Committee.