The Ottumwa Courier

March 19, 2014

Clock tower contractor expected to move in next week

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Knoxville — Workers with E & H Restoration of Davenport are expected to move equipment into the courthouse parking lot on or after March 24 as work begins on the clock tower. 

The project is the last phase of the County's rehabilitation of the courthouse. The outside of the clock tower will be tuck pointed and sealed. In addition, a new concrete floor for the clock area will be poured. The current one is deteriorating. 

In the past decade, projects to place new windows, a new roof and tuck pointing have been done to help ensure the building's longevity. Cal Stephens, Facilities Manager, believes that when this project is complete the courthouse can be expected to last several more years. 

A week after the courthouse parking lot, on the east side, is closed, the outside doors to courthouse restrooms will be closed. Access to the restrooms will still be available indoors. This will continue throughout the project. 

The projected start date is April 1. The close-out date for the project is July 15, though Stephens believes the project will be completed by July 1. The E & H Restoration contract will cost $182,327. 

Stephens has worked with the City of Knoxville in regard to the parking issues that the loss of 20 spaces at the courthouse, and several others lost during streetscape. The courthouse lot will likely be closed through November, when the Third Street project is expected to be completed. 

With the streetscape, Stephens believes this is a good time to replace the sidewalks around the courthouse. Other projects planned around the courthouse include improving ventilation to the west stairwell. As one walks down those stairs, chipped paint can be seen. Stephens said this is due to the lack of ventilation. New doors are expected to improve the heating and cooling access to the stairwell. 

Elsewhere around the County, a new roof has been placed at 113 Third Street (across from the courthouse) in Knoxville and on the Marion County Care Facility. Caution signs have been erected around the lagoon at the Care Facility as well. 

New heat tape was placed on the west side downspouts at the Marion County Jail. An ice jam that has created a problem at the jail has also been addressed.