Cortland County begins building construction

(Photo Source: Kevin L. Smith/The Cortland Voice).

The Cortland County Building and Grounds Department officially began the process of county courthouse exterior repairs on Friday, according to department director Chuck Miller.

The department’s list of projects include renovating the courthouse main steps and the rooftop, along with replacing two exit doors.

“We’re trying to do as much in-time service as we can so we can save as much money as we can for the taxpayers,” Miller said. The projects will be completed prior to the preparation of the 100th year of the county courthouse in 2023.

On Friday, the department began tearing out the current courthouse steps, which were closed off to the public due to safety concerns. Miller said the process of pulling out steps and cleaning the area will take the department “about a week.”

Over a million dollars between the county’s American Rescue Plan and building reserve funds will be used to cover costs for the projects. County legislator Paul Heider (R-LD-16), who is also the chair of the county’s buildings and grounds committee, noted there will most likely be additional funds needed to cover the entirety of the project’s costs.

“Hopefully that will be approved by the legislature,” Heider added.

Paul Heider. (Photo Source: Cortland County Website).

Heider mentioned a request-for-proposal will be sent out soon for the pricing of new steps.

“By tearing out (the steps), this will give the architect a more accurate look at what we’ve got to put together for specs to go out to bid,” Miller said.

Miller mentioned the new steps will be “as close to the original (steps) as possible.” He was unsure the last time extensive work has been done on the steps, but noted it was prior to his time with the department.

“We will be working with the National Historical Society to make that process acceptable to move forward,” Miller said. He added the new roof for the courthouse roof will be about the same as the current one.

For the renovation of the courthouse roof, Miller anticipates construction could begin in the middle of May. The last time the roof was replaced occurred 25 years ago, he added.

Heider expects a bid to be accepted for courthouse roof renovations at the buildings and grounds committee meeting on April 12.

The contract for the two exit doors is “moving forward,” Miller said. Despite the estimated construction of this project slated for the beginning of August, Miller mentioned it is “a matter of them getting the material for the doors (in a timely manner).”

“The whole legislature is very excited that (these projects) have started. We’re all committed to seeing the courthouse restored,” Heider said, which he noted is the indication he received from his fellow legislators he’s spoken to about the projects.