Courthouse will get updated study, space use report

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The county will spend approximately $64,000 to determine what work needs to be done to the courthouse and how the space might be used in the future.

The decision to spend the money on updated studies came during the Tuesday, March 7, meeting of the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

Commissioners first saw a proposal from Arsee Engineers, Inc., a Fishers-based engineering firm. The proposal was for an update of the 2015 structural study of the courthouse. Frederick Herget, president of the engineering firm, said the update would cost about $35,000.

Herget said the study would include a plan for stabilizing the bell tower – which has previously been identified as the most vulnerable portion of the building. The building’s envelope, including the masonry and roof, will also be evaluated for safety and to identify points of water infiltration. Herget noted his firm wouldn’t guarantee the quality of any masonry work already completed.

A drone will be used in the assessment.

Commissioners also approved a proposal from RATIO to conduct a needs analysis and space study of the courthouse. The firm was represented by David Kroll, an architect who is the firm’s director of preservation.

Kroll’s firm will help to identify the best future use of the building. He said it will take up to six weeks to conduct the study.

Commissioners unanimously approved both proposals for the studies.

Anyone interested in being involved in helping to save the Washington County Courthouse may call the county auditor’s Office at 812-883-4805 and have their name added to a list.

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