|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
Courthouse nears one-year anniversary
Trinity Standard -
GROVETON – An inspection of the newly renovated Trinity County Courthouse was underway early this week in preparation to the one-year anniversary of its “substantial completion.” During Monday’s meeting of the Trinity County Commissioners Court, project architect Michael Gaertner of Galveston said he and contractor Kirk Stoddard would conduct a “walk through” of the building to locate any remaining defects that need to be repaired before the one-year warranty expires. Although the county did not move back into the three-story, red brick structure in Groveton until August and September of last year, the “substantial completion” date occurred in July. That is the date the building is deemed ready for occupancy and the date on which the contractor’s warranty begins. In his report, Gaertner said the only outstanding item that remains to be completed from the original construction contract are the signs identifying the courthouse offices and other building features. The architect said the signs had “slipped through the cracks” but were now being finalized. “I looked at the drawings for the signs over the weekend and they looked fine to me. Mr. Stoddard is bringing them with him today to get the county’s approval,” he said. Once the county approves, Gaertner said the signs would be ordered and should be installed in the coming weeks. At present, the county has paper signs in place to direct visitors. Although not part of the original construction contract, Gaertner told commissioners there were still a few “odds and ends” to be completed on the building. A set of three circular bronze plaques bearing the Trinity County seal have been ordered and could arrive in Groveton as early as next week. The plaques will be installed in the district courtroom, the county commissioner’s meeting room and he county judge’s office. Other items to be installed included diaper changing tables in restrooms, weather stripping around outside doors and a partition in the upstairs men’s restroom. The architect added that the final completion document to be filed with the Texas State Archeologist is about 98 percent complete. Once it is filed, the final payment from the Texas Historical Commission will be issued to the county. THC funded 80 percent of the $5.4 million renovation project under a Courthouse Preservation Grant. Gaertner said part of the completion document will be a maintenance manual for the building, listing things such as times to replace air conditioning filters and other routines to keep the building’s equipment functioning. He noted that the county’s current maintenance staff knows the building better than anyone else, but added that, “Mr. Jesse won’t be here in 20 years and we want to make sure that who ever is here has the information they need.” Other action In other business during a brief meeting Monday, the commissioners: • Approved and oil and gas lease with XTO Energy, Inc., for 1.9 acres of land owned by the county at the end of Reese Road. • Scheduled a public hearing for Aug. 13 on a petition for the county to take over maintenance of .7 miles of Odessa Drive in the Robb Hills Estates subdivision.