January 8, 2009

Questioning courthouse future

By Danielle Abbott, BHG News Service

Hearing about building problems at the McLean County courthouse is nothing new to area residents. After bats, building closures, and a $54,000 cleaning of the third floor, a spotlight is once again shining over the four-story complex as questions are raised about the building’s long-term future. On Nov. 4 Alan Traeholt, senior structural engineer for Ulteig Engineers of Bismarck, traveled to Washburn to visit the site. While at the site, Traeholt visited with City Auditor Les Korgel and toured the building with Curt Malo. In early December, Ulteig Engineers completed a report and those findings were discussed and reviewed during Tuesday’s McLean County Commission meeting. In the letter written to architect Al Fitterer, Ulteig broke down the document into several different parts. Specifically, the observations portion of the letter pinpoints numerous areas throughout the building that will eventually need attention and repair. The first part of the building to be discussed was the roof, where a ridge is visible between the 1907 and 1917 sections of construction. "Allan looked and couldn’t find the indifference, so we are still uncertain what that is," Fitterer said.



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