In March, Building & Grounds Chairman David
Blankenship updated the board on the budget and scope of work in
A subcommittee, the Construction Technical Committee (a.k.a the Tech
Committee) is overseeing the project. The committee rejected the
initial budget proposed by the design engineering company CTS due to
The Tech Committee decided Bill Walter of MRTS should take over that
scope of work and project bidding, shifting the dome and
construction management from CTS to MRTS. This recommendation came
from the Construction Technical Committee because MRTS has more
experience than CTS in this area and would reduce costs.
Blankenship said he was more comfortable with MRTS overseeing the
contractors because of Mr. Walter’s years of experience. CTS will
still oversee the performance contract side related to HVAC and
energy savings. CTS would also still design the performance contract
and construction management design contract.
During the February Workshop, Blankenship had said CTS does
phenomenal design work. The individuals from CTS have strong
architectural and engineering backgrounds.
March 15, 2021 -
County Briefs: Courthouse restoration design and bidding plans a top
By spring, they were able to open the third-floor courtroom that had
to be closed after tiles fell in May 2019. When that happened, the
sound system also had to be removed. A new sound system was
reinstalled by Lincolnland Communications this spring.
Judge Jonathan Wright asked for approval for the system, he wanted
to ensure everything was installed in conjunction with the
restoration. Blankenship said the hard wiring should work with the
On April 12th, 2021, a large crane began moving beams up to the roof
of the courthouse. A review of the scaffolding shoring space by Bill
Walter of MRTS showed inadequate beams in the attic.
Upon further investigation Walter found the load bearing
characteristics in one-fourth of the attic were inadequate. New base
shoring designs were incorporated into the design to compensate for
the insufficiencies and make everything safer from a structural
standpoint and for personnel.
April 16, 2021 -
New steel beams hoisted to Logan County Courthouse rooftop
In May, geothermal test boring was done to see how many boreholes
needed to be put in around the courthouse lawn. This testing would
help show whether geothermal heating and cooling might work for the
Logan County Board
Logan County Courthouse renovations and other matters
By summer, the scaffolding reached the cupola and
the top of the dome. Scaffolding surrounded the dome on all sides
and was supported by high beams at this point.
June - Logan County Courthouse dome structural preparations to do
restoration near completion
July – Latest Logan County Courthouse restoration, treasurer’s drop
boxes and Scully Park fountain plans
In August, the board heard from Gil Bucio and Michelle James of CTS.
After going through an assessment process and getting feedback from
the Construction Technical Committee, CTS is recommending a
geothermal system. It would include a geothermal heat pump system
with well field and dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) Units. Pipes
underneath the ground will transfer heat in the winter and cool air
in the summer. Blankenship said it is just one of the options being
The DOAS will be in the basement to provide better access for
equipment maintenance. Most of the current boiler system will be
kept in place in the basement, but one steam boiler will be removed,
and the second boiler would be used for supplemental heat.
August 10, 2021 – Geothermal heating in preliminary design and
specifications for Logan County Courthouse renovation
As of September, work has begun on the cupola on top of the dome. As
they have begun digging into the cupola, Walter said a lot of the
fiberglass has been removed exposing the copper underneath. To
restore the cupola, Walter was now looking at two options. He
considered whether to remove the entire cupola somewhat intact or
leave the cupola in place as it is restored.
That month, Walter and Blankenship had their first meeting with the
transition committee, which is made up of county employees. This
committee will be taking care of relocations, storage, IT and
anything that keeps the customer service portion of the courthouse
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With good communication from the committee,
Blankenship felt the meeting went well. He said Logan County State’s
Attorney Hauge did a good job heading up the transition committee.
From Walter’s perspective, “everyone [was] on the same sheet of
music” as far as plans go. They set the groundwork for what they
want to accomplish.
The transition committee will look over maps and
floorplans and Walter will listen to everyone's questions, comments
or concerns. Through Hauge, Walter had sent everyone a list of
potential questions for the committee to consider when responding
and providing their own department input. The transition committee
will also be considering inside needs and the retrofitting of the
As the transition committee figures out the best use of space,
Blankenship said they will discuss possibly consolidating offices
and making space for the public defender. He said they will continue
discussing how to consolidate spaces, how to manage the space they
have and how to place everyone.
September 9, 2021–Logan County Courthouse restoration: Cupola issues
and restoration specifications, transition plans rolling to keep
business as usual
In October Walter gave more updates on plans for the cupola repair;
his original plan was to assess the cupola from the inside and
outside and perhaps remove it from the dome. Repairs would have been
made on the ground or at a site different from the courthouse.
Walter found the cupola to be in good shape from a structural
standpoint. He also found the cupola’s steel ribs were attached to
the dome’s steel structure and were in fairly good condition. Walter
discovered the copper skin has suffered the most and is in need of
significant attention and repair.
In evaluating the cupola Walter decided it was better to leave it in
place to restore it. Removing the cupola and putting it back would
do more structural damage.
Walter told the board he expected to get three proposals from
contractors for work on the cupola and had heard from another
contractor who expressed interest in the project. He was tentatively
planning to have the same contractor for working on both the cupola
and the dome.
Walter said the contractor needs to have the capacity to perform
work on the dome. If for some reason during the work on the cupola
the contractor shows himself not to be to the county’s liking,
Walter said they could use a different contractor for the dome.
October 7, 2021–Logan County Courthouse dome cupola to remain in
place for restoration process; bid process underway
By November the construction tech committee was reviewing several
documents including the performance contract which covers HVAC and
associated trades. A question-and-answer session was then held with
document preparers and included Walter, Blankenship, CTS, the tech
committee, and architects. It included responses from the tech
committee and MRTS on what had been reviewed so far.
Construction management documents were also nearing completion and
ready for review by the tech committee. Due to issues raised by the
tech committee, Walter said some adjustments may be needed on the
Walter also provided updates on contracts and designs.
The design blueprints contain over 120 pages detailing the layout of
the HVAC system and associated components. Walter said the
blueprints show where and how the system is going to be placed and
demolition sheets show what is going to be removed in the existing
The specification and bid documents are over 500 pages and include
electrical, plumbing and associated trades that support the HVAC
November 5, 2021 -Logan County Courthouse restoration and park
As of December, CTS had presented their proposal, but project
manager Bill Walter said he and the tech committee wanted to see
value engineering for portions of it. Value engineering would reduce
the amount of the potential contract. After a few areas are tweaked,
the contract may be initiated in January.
Toward the end of December, they began tearing down some of the
scaffolding around the cupola with a plan to wrap the cupola
encapsulating it in plastic to create an enclosure. Encapsulation
was expected to take two to three weeks depending on the weather.
Once encapsulation is done work would begin on the cupola removing
old copper and putting up new copper and molding.