Courthouse slated for new roof

February 19, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

When the Scioto County Courthouse was completed in May of 1927, Henry Bannon, chairman of the courthouse committee was quoted in the Daily Times as saying, “It has up-to-date offices, a modern and sanitary jail, a beautiful law library and dignified courtrooms which represent justice.”

In the spirit of restoring the courthouse to the standards of Bannon and to better represent its spot on the National Register of Historic Places, the Scioto County Commissioners met in special session Tuesday morning and passed a resolution authorizing the expenditure of $99,990 to replace the roof of the courthouse.

The failing roof — which has been in disrepair for years — caused the top floor of the building to be practically vacant since the Scioto County Jail relocated to its new location in April of 2006.

On Tuesday, the commissioners awarded the roofing replacement project to Five Star Commercial Roofing, out of Hartford City, Ind.

“They have done some work for other companies in the area and we’ve heard nothing but good things. They (Five Star Commercial Roofing) have offices in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and in Florida,” said Mike Crabtree, Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners.

Crabtree said the scope of the work includes the installation of a seamless roofing system that is expected to last 20 years.

According to released information, Five Star Commercial Roofing will remove the existing roof and lay down a layer of starbond cold applied modified bitumen, then place a base sheet on top of that, then add another layer of starbond cold applied modified bitumen. On top of that crews will add a 14-foot poly-flex fiber membrane then another layer of starbond cold applied modified bitumen.

Crews will then add another 14-foot poly-flex fiber membrane, then another layer of starbond cold applied modified bitumen and finally apply a cover layer of Starfire Aluminum Chips. Crabtree said the aluminum chips are installed as an effort to keep the temperature of below 120 degrees. He said the current roof kept the temperature below 200 degrees.

The current roof was installed about 20 years ago and has gradually deteriorated causing damage to the fourth floor of the courthouse. The extent of the damage has made the majority of the fourth floor uninhabitable. Now, damage has begun to appear on the third floor of the building.

“If we don’t fix that roof, we are going to have to issue hardhats and umbrellas to people as they come in the courthouse,” Crabtree said. “We’ve had a problem of water getting into the fourth floor of the courthouse. Lately it’s been making it’s way onto the third floor in places. It really comes down to a matter of public safety.”

He said once the roof is repaired, the county will have to look into the extent of the damage it has caused to the interior of the building and look at ways to fix it.

“In some of the places where the leak has been coming in, you can take your finger and shove it through the plaster,” Crabtree said. “In my view, it would be irresponsible for us to let this thing go any further.”

The county recently had to move the Prosecutor’s Office to the courthouse annex to make room in the courthouse for the offices of Judge Marie Hoover of the Fourth District Court of Appeals. As a result, the county’s general fund is paying $4,200 a month.

Crabtree said crew from Five Star Commercial Roofing can get started as soon as the county gives them the go ahead and that is expected after the measure is approved by the Scioto County Financial Planing and Supervision Commission.

He said once started, the project is expected to take about two weeks, weather permitting.

The county recently received $414,000 in revenue from the closing of the Infra-Metals property in New Boston. Crabtree said the funding for the project will come from the general fund.

“We’ve gotten the money from Infra-Metal and we had money left over from the debt reduction that we did not have to use. So, we’ve got the money to do these repairs,” Crabtree said.

Originally contracted to be built for $1 million, the Scioto County Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places by the Department of the Interior Dec. 8, 1987. It is the third county courthouse in the history of Scioto County.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com.