Logan County Courthouse under construction

Construction crews are working on a nearly $8 million renovation project of the historic Logan County Courthouse.

“It’s kind of the icon of Logan County, so there is a lot of excitement for when it will be done,” Logan County Chamber of Commerce President Paul Benedetti said of the more than 140-year-old.

The courthouse’s clock tower was destroyed during a derecho, a line of storms with hurricane-force winds, at the end of June 2012. When the commissioners were examining damages to the tower, they also discovered the trusses in the roof were sagging.

“It was kind of a blessing in disguise,” Logan County Commissioner Tony Core said, “because if the trusses failed while we had occupants and citizens in that building, it would have been a catastrophe.”

The commissioners have decided to also replace the roof, based on the advice of engineers. Since county workers are already out of the building, it is a perfect time to do so.

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“The areas where weather hit, the roof, tower and so on, need a little more TLC, but beyond that it could last another 100 years,” Core said.

The costs of dismantling, recreating and transporting the clock tower is about $4.5 million and covered by insurance, Core said.

The roof repairs, not covered by insurance, will cost between $3 million and $4 million, Core said.

Work on the clock tower could be completed by December, Core said, but the county may wait to erect it until work is done on the roof. Weather dependent, county employees could be moving back into the courthouse by the end of 2015, he added.

Marion-based Midstate Contractors are doing the work on the clock tower and roof. The company specializes in the restoration of historic structures, according to its website.

Midstate is recreating the clock tower in four pieces in its office, then transporting them to Bellefontaine piece by piece. The first of four pieces is expected to go up next week, Core said.

Midstate will be replacing the roof in three different sections.

Core said the county may decide to upgrade the windows, HVAC and electrical systems during the construction as well.

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