Commissioners eye courthouse roof, dome repairs

Barbara Miller
Observer Reporter

Within the next month, scaffolding will be going up so the Washington County Courthouse roof tiles can come down.

The Washington County commissioners today expect to award $2.15 million in contracts related to repairs of the roof and exterior dome of the 119-year-old building.

The county will pay for the work from the Act 13 impact fees imposed on unconventional natural gas wells.

Bryn Enterprise of Export, Westmoreland County, will remove tile and fix the roof at a cost of $417,514.

“The county has done repairs and partial roof replacements over the years,” said Randy Vankirk, director of purchasing.

“We plan to have Ludowici Architectural Roof Tile of New Lexington, Ohio, perform moisture tests on existing tile to determine the expected remaining life.”

The company, which lists the Pennsylvania State Capitol building and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., among its projects, will be duplicating any tile that is need of replacement.

The firm dates to 1888.

A $1.7 million contract for dome repair will likely be awarded to Allegheny Restoration Inc. of Pittsburgh, which will also repoint both the courthouse and Family Court Center at a cost of $20 per linear foot.

According to Vankirk, both contractors were chosen because the firms were the lowest most responsive and responsible bidders meeting the specifications.

Work will wrap up “before the snow flies,” he said, although repointing is likely to continue next spring.

The commissioners also plan to seek bids for the cost of replacing 213 windows in the courthouse.

The current windows date to a courthouse renovation several decades ago, so the county will be seeking windows that are more energy efficient, offering a 30 percent savings in the cost of heating and cooling the building, Vankirk said.