early $1 million in renovations to the McCracken County Courthouse should wrap up at the end of this fiscal year, ensuring the historic building will stand proudly for generations to come.
Judge-Executive Bob Leeper made making both major and minor improvements to the 73-year-old structure a top priority when he took office in 2014. Today, the project is moving along smoothly with crews beginning to remove and replace windows in the annex and measuring to begin window work in the main courthouse building.
In total, commissioners budgeted about $965,00 between fiscal years 2015 and 2016 for the work, which includes minor repairs, updates and touch-ups, as well as larger projects like repairing drainage issues.
Crews addressed drainage and leaking issues in two upstairs judges offices and the coronerâ€â ¢s office over the summer. About $300,000 was budgeted in 2015 to complete that work, along with minor projects and replacement of carpeting in the county clerkâ€â ¢s office in the basement, which had sustained wear and tear over the years from continued flooding.
In the current budget, commissioners allocated $665,00 to complete the remainder of the work, which primarily includes the window work. Leeper has said officials considered restoring the existing windows, which would have cost an additional $20,000, but decided that replacement was the best option. He said he was concerned that future fiscal courts would choose not to fund the necessary maintenance to keep restored windows up to par. To avoid having to spend even more money in the future because of that, full replacement was a better option, he said.
Funding for the courthouse renovation project was a significant part of the countyâ€â ¢s budget this year. Leeper said it is work that was past due and although it is not the most exciting thing to allocate money for, it was absolutely necessary.