The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Local News

June 22, 2014

County eyes funding for courthouse steps repair

GREENVILLE — The Hunt County Commissioners Court intends to vote this week to accept a grant which will help pay for needed repairs to the steps at the Hunt County Courthouse.

The Texas Historical Commission announced April 30 that Hunt County will receive a $450,000 emergency grant award through the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.

Tuesday, the commissioners are scheduled to vote to approve the funding agreement, and to approve a grant of easement for the rehabilitation and restoration of the steps.

Both items are included on the agenda for Tuesday’s regular session, starting at 10 a.m. inside the Auxiliary Courtroom, 2700 Johnson Street in Greenville.

Hunt was one of the counties to receive funds in Round VIII of the grant program, along with Callahan, Dickens, Dimmit, Hidalgo, Houston, Jefferson, Karnes, Lamar, Lee, Limestone, Lipscomb, Lynn, Polk, Rains, San Saba, Upshur, and Wilson counties.

The Hunt County Courthouse is 85 years old, as it was formally dedicated on April 11, 1929.

The specific work will be focused on repairs to the stairways on the north and south sides of the courthouse, which through the years have endured severe decay due to water infiltration, to where they have become a life and safety concern for those having to enter and exit the building.

An engineering study revealed the rebar and the concrete supports inside the steps have eroded due to water leaking through. As the courthouse is listed as a historical landmark, the repairs will be performed in order to match the existing nature of the steps, including using the same type of material in the construction.

In order to qualify for potential grant funding from the Texas Historical Commission, the county was required to draft a master plan for the project, which included hiring the ArchiTexas architectural firm.

Judge John L. Horn, with the approval of the Commissioner’s Court, appointed a committee to oversee the development of the master plan for the courthouse and work closely with ArchiTexas to oversee the implementation of the project.

Since October 2006, only one entrance or exit is available to the public at the courthouse, on the ground floor doors on the north side.

The second floor doors on the north (Lee Street) and south (Washington Street) sides of the courthouse were closed for security reasons and are designated for emergency access only.

 

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