Not many of us were around when the Anson County Courthouse was first built, but the nearly 100-year-old building looks more and more like a newly constructed building these days, thanks to an ongoing $1 million renovation project.
Jeff Waisner, director of buildings maintenance and parks and recreation, said that architect Ansel Broome and contractors SRM, Inc., have looked over old photographs of the courthouse and have tested different parts of the courthouse to determine how the building originally looked.
“They took a sample of materials and took them to a lab to get back to the original,” Waisner explained. “They can get down to the base and tell what color it was originally.”
Once the original colors were determined, a protective sealant in those colors was added to the building’s columns, steps, archways and other architectural details. “The base is stone, brick and terra cotta,” Waisner said.
Last week, workers were continuing to work on the steps and retaining walls, repairing areas that have been broken. “When it’s finished, hopefully it will match the stone of the columns,” Waisner added.
All 137 of the courthouse’s windows will also be replaced, starting at the end of this month. County Manager Lawrence Gatewood said that the contractors expect to do three windows a day, “so it will be a time-consuming process.”
The project is on schedule and so far, under budget, Gatewood said at the January county commissioners meeting. “We budgeted $1 million,” he said, “and it looks like we will come in right at $900,000.”
Waisner said that the project is “pretty much on schedule.”
“Some rainy days, some of the colder weather limits what we can do,” he explained. “We would like to have this phase completed by late May.”
Renovations are also ongoing at the Parks & Recreation office building in Little Park. New sheetrock has been put up in all the offices. Painting and installation of tile flooring will be done soon, and concrete is ready to be poured on the addition to the rear of the building.
“When it’s finished, it will be one of the nicest buildings in the county,” Waisner said. “We will have a nice new area in our lobby for coach’s meetings and maybe even some county commissioner retreats.”
The project is set to be complete by May, in time for the opening of the pool.