By BRAD KELLAR
Hunt County officials are awaiting word from architects on how much it may cost to repair the decaying steps of the Hunt County Courthouse.
Cheryl Blue with the Hunt County Purchasing Department said representatives from the county met earlier this month with ArchiTexas of Dallas about the work.
“We are still waiting on the master plan to be approved,” Blue said.
One estimate has placed the potential cost of the project at some $500,000, or even higher if the county seeks grant funding to help pay for the work.
The Hunt County Commissioners Court heard over the summer from Maintenance Director Jimmy Moore, who delivered the results of an engineering study of the problem, which revealed the rebar and the concrete supports inside the steps themselves have eroded due to water leaking through.
Moore said rough estimates revealed the work to repair and/or replace the steps could cost approximately $500,000. As the courthouse is listed as a historical landmark, Moore said the repairs would have to 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 draft a master plan for the project, which included hiring ArchiTexas.
Blue said the architects still need to submit the master plan.
“We have to have the master plan before we can apply to the Texas Historical Commission for grants,” Blue added.
The cost of the work would depend on how much grant funding the county would be able to obtain.
“It will kind of depend on all that,” Blue said.
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.