Dome Of Clark Co. Courthouse Comes Down
By Mike Scott
The dome of Clark County's 140 year old courthouse is now on the ground. Salvage crews from Zimmerman Excavating of Rutledge succeeded in lifting the dome safely to the ground on their second attempt on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after 4:00pm.
Earlier in the morning, they had decided that they needed a larger crane, but after removing more of the structure to lighten the load, the crane they had was able to do the job.
More than 100 people gathered around the courthouse to watch the once-in-a-lifetime sight.
Zimmerman workers had sixteen connection points rigged inside the dome to safely lower it to the ground.
“We’re moving forward,” said Clark County Presiding Commissioner Ron Brewer. When we get this done, we can start building. We’re looking forward to building instead of tearing down.”
The roof of the structure will be removed next, the walls down to the first level, according to the commissioners.
“I imagine once he gets the salvage lumber and bricks, it will come down pretty fast,” said Western District Commissioner Roger Sedore.
Zimmerman has salvage rights to the entire courthouse building and it’s contents.
“Anything the county was interested in was removed and is in storage,” said Eastern District Commissioner Jerry Neyens.
Besides the dome, the historic judge’s bench was left by the county for salvage.
“The contractor has plans to hold an auction, probably in late March,” added Neyens. That auction will take place somewhere other than on the courthouse grounds.
The Commissioners provided a tentative schedule for the new courthouse construction project. Final documents should be completed by March 31. Advertising for bids is slated to start March 22, with the bidding phase lasting until May 30. Bid openings will be May 31, and review of the bids will continue through June 30.
The county expects to issue a “notice to proceed” on July 1, with the construction phase beginning July 5. All dates are tentative.
On another issue, the commissioners again asked residents to keep heavy trucks and busses off county roads because of how soft they currently are.
“We know it’s an inconvenience to the public, but it’s something we really have to do,” said Neyens.