OTTAWA — The first phase of the Putnam County Courthouse roof renovation project is set to begin during the first week of September, said Tim Schnipke, head of buildings and grounds, during a commissioner’s meeting Thursday.
A Duro-Last membrane will replace the “whatever you call this stuff,” gray roofing which is currently in place and collects pools of rain water, Administrator Jackson Betscher said. The membrane last for around 20 years and can be replaced at a fraction of the cost, he said the project will cost $287,755 to complete.
Along with the membrane, the center three glass skylights — which bring light to the third floor lobby — will be replaced with new polycarbonate skylights. Other leaking skylights on the roof are not visible but to the attic, so they will be removed, Schnipke said.
Replacing and removing the skylights will add considerable time to the project because it’s more involved than just removing them.
“I’ve been told anywhere between four to eight weeks,” Schnipke said. “It depends on how well the old skylights come out. You can’t take them out in one piece; they have to be disassembled up there.”
Schnipke and Putnam County Commissioners Michael Lammers and John Love discussed phase two of the roofing project, tile replacement and facade renovations. Vincent Schroeder wasn’t present. The commissioners are trying to decide between renovating the roof with historically accurate tiles, which are expensive, or a more cost effective seamless metal roof dyed to match the current tile color.
“In my mind, I have a mental image of an almost bright orange or reddish orange similar to the tile,” Lammers said.
While he would like to replace the current tile with the same thing, it might not be the most cost-effective option, he said. But he does plan on taking samples of the seamless metal roofing to the public and asking what option they would prefer because the Putnam County Courthouse belongs to the community, he said.
The Putnam County Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places but being on the register doesn’t put any restrictions on what a property owner can do with the site, said Emmy Beach, public relations manager for Ohio History Connection. She said restrictions on registered historical sites happens if federal grants or permits are being used to do the work and if the site is part of a local historic district.
“Very often, local governments will institute their own series of guidelines for how properties can be renovated or changed based on their own decided policies,” Beach said.
Betscher said the funding for the roof project comes from the capital improvement fund and is all Putnam County money.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362