Two previous referendums that would have covered
renovations at both the courthouse and Safety Complex had failed in
recent years. This time the referendum was changed to a public
facilities tax referendum that would only cover courthouse
The question on the ballot voters were asked to consider was: To pay
for public facilities purposes for courthouse improvements, shall
the county of Logan, Illinois be authorized to impose an increase on
local sales tax of .5 percent? This tax would be .50 on every 100
dollars on non-food items.
To educate voters about the referendum and need for courthouse
restoration, several meetings were held around the county in
February and March. These meetings allowed people to hear more about
the referendum and need for courthouse restoration and gave people a
chance to ask questions. Many people had questions about the costs
of the restoration, the timeline and what would happen if the
referendum did not pass.
March 5, 2020
Public addressed on proposed sales tax and use for the Logan
As a way of showing the public the need for restoration, both a
short and long video were produced and made available for viewing on
the county website. A three-minute video gave brief information
about the courthouse. A longer video released in February provided
more of a historical view of the courthouse and footage of various
areas in need of restoration. This video was shown at the town hall
In the video, Restoration Specialist Bill Walter discussed many
issues he discovered as he assessed what needs to be done to restore
the courthouse. These include a leaky dome, roof internal drain
issues, ceiling tiles falling in, energy loss from leaky windows,
boiler leaks, tiles cracked due to excessive fluctuations in
humidity, an old electrical system and corroded panel boxes.
January 28, 2020 -
Videos to show why half-cent sales tax is needed for Logan County
February 22, 2020 -
Second video shows courthouse damages and need for referendum
A press conference held about a week before the March primaries
provided additional information. In a question-and-answer session
some asked about other possible funding sources to help offset the
total restoration costs. These sources include bonds, grants and
State of Illinois Capital Bill. Senator Bill Brady and
Representative Tim Butler said funding from the Capital Bill was
contingent on the referendum passing.
March 16, 2020 -
Dollars and sense of restoring the historic Logan County Courthouse
In the March 17 primary election, the referendum passed by a 65
percent margin with 3,443 voting yes and 1,998 voting no. Once the
referendum passed, the board authorized Bill Walter to begin
compiling bid specifications and documents. The board also had to
approve an ordinance for a special county retailers occupation tax
to begin July 1.
Some of the funding for the project will be coming from bonds. A
special meeting was held March 25 with David Pistorius of First
Midstate speaking to the board members about bond options. As
discussed at the special meeting, the notice of intent to issue
bonds would be limited to $750,000 debt service for potentially $11
M in bonds.
April 17, 2020 -
Logan County Board takes first step in acquiring courthouse
After considering the options, the board chose to go out for general
obligation bonds. These were split into two different bond series
with different maturity rates--a taxable General Obligation Bond and
a General Obligation Bond. In August, the county received $11
million in bond proceeds for the courthouse renovation project.
July 26, 2020 -
Board approves $11 million bond issuance for Logan County Courthouse
Renovation plans began to take shape over the summer, Walter began
to assemble the scope of work and the basis for design as far as
HVAC, computer control system, security and related items.
A flow chart Walter handed out at the July Building and Grounds
Committee meeting showed the expected organizational structure for
the restoration project. The chart explains who will be responsible
for what areas and how the contact will happen between the
committees and various individuals.
The Logan County Board is at the top of the structure. They are
followed by the Building and Grounds Committee, which in turn will
work hand in hand with the Technical Committee. Building and Grounds
Committee Chairman David Blankenship is the contact point who keeps
in close contact with Bill Walter, who is acting as Project
Manager/Design Professional. Walter will also be working closely
with the Technical Committee chaired by Blankenship and the
Construction Transition Committee.
At the next level is the Performance Contractor, who will deal with
energy related items and Construction Management, who will deal with
the construction related items.
July 13, 2020 -
Logan County Courthouse renovation plans take shape
The next step was choosing who would do construction management. At
the July voting meeting, the board approved Blankenship’s motion to
appoint CTS as Construction Management for the Courthouse
Restoration Project. Construction Management will include site
improvements, building construction, external building restoration,
interior renovations, and plumbing and electrical work.
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A letter of intent from the board to CTS gave them
the authority to proceed with construction aspects of the project.
Restoration Specialist Bill Walter and CTS then formulated a
construction plan along with Blankenship and the technical
A special meeting was held in
October and the board amended the MRTS Contract. Blankenship had
Bill Walter of MRTS clarify the responsibilities of the Construction
Technical Committee and the Transition Committee. Walter wanted to
make sure there is not any overlap in these committees or
supposition of one committee having authority over the other. The
board then adopted the Logan County Courthouse Restoration Project
responsibility chart for the Tech Committee and the Transition
Over these past few months, MRTS and CTS compiled a scope of work
list. When the Construction Technical Committee met in November,
they brought together MRTS and CTS’s work and made a list of budget
numbers for each category in general terms.
Walter, Blankenship, and a few members of the Construction Technical
Committee then went through the ‘scope of work’ list to determine
what would be considered needed priorities. Bid specs are currently
in process. Walter has said the specs to restore the dome are phase
one of the project.
Logan County Courthouse Construction Technical Committee actively
moving project forward
Thursday, October 22 -
Logan County Board refines courthouse restoration procedures and
Though the dome is the top priority, Walter has said other areas
also need to be addressed. At a special meeting in April, the board
was told both the elevator and boiler needed repairs to fix some
major problems. A water leak was discovered in the boiler in October
and a company came in to rebuild it. The repairs were needed until
the boiler can be restored. In later phases of the restoration, the
electrical system, security system, windows and façade of the
building will also be updated.
November 24, 2020 -
Logan County Courthouse restoration specs planning underway and
In November, the American Scaffolding Incorporated put up
scaffolding for the stair tower and material hoist on east side of
the courthouse. Scaffolding over the front entrance of courthouse
will help catch debris from the construction.
Picture page on November 13
A crane brought in the early part of December lifted tubular steel,
plywood and foam board to the roof in preparation for work on the
dome. The dome is currently being surrounded with scaffolding that
would provide support for the encapsulation material. Encapsulating
the dome will allow work during the winter months.
Walter has said the restoration may take at least 22 months, so
there will be many more updates as the work progresses.