Courthouse roof project moving forward

ELKINS — The second phase of a project to replace the roof of the Randolph County Courthouse will get underway in early 2019.

Randolph County Commissioners unanimously approved signing a resolution for a West Virginia Courthouse Facilities Improvement Grant, which they have already been awarded and will net them $100,000 for the second and final phase of the roof project.

“This is the acceptance and authorization to move forward with it,” Randolph County Commission President Mike Taylor said.

The first phase of the project — the first half of the roof being replaced — was completed earlier this year by Forbes Copper Works LLC, of Lewisburg. The total of that half of the project was $194,400; however, the commission also received $100,000 toward that phase of the project through the same grant, which is available yearly to eligible county projects.

The commission plans to put the second phase of the project out to bid in the near future and hopes to have it underway in spring or summer of 2019.

“It’s exciting we have received this for the second year in a row,” Commissioner Mark Scott said. “What we did with the last one is did the back half of the roof and the plan for this coming year is to do the front half of the courthouse roof. As you all know, it is now extremely heavy and brittle clay. Those tiles are being replaced with a synthetic material that has a lifetime warranty. We are excited and looking forward to, hopefully, doing that this spring or early summer and having a completely new roof on the courthouse.”

Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Parker, who sits on the board of directors for the Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority, said he believes the executive director of the organization plans to visit next month.

“I had a telephonic board meeting — I serve on this board — and the executive director, I know, has a trip planned to see the basement project and to see the progress of the roof,” he said.

Taylor said he feels the county has done well to receive the grant again.

“To receive $200,000 — or $100,000 two years in a row — is quite an accomplishment,” Taylor said. “Just in comparison, I follow the news in Pittsburgh a little bit, they are replacing the roof on the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh, and they are putting the original tile back on, but it is a $21 million project.”

Earlier estimates to replace the roof were close to $700,000, and the new tile options would make the project cheaper and more manageable within the county budget.