Though nearly complete, interior refurbishing at the 130-year-old Nodaway County Courthouse recently experienced a minor setback when water from an air conditioning unit leaked through newly installed ceiling panels on the second floor.
South District Commissioner Robert Stiens said this week that a drainage line designed to carry condensed water away from the A/C unit was shifted upward during installation of a new elevator. This caused water to run back into an overflow tray, which eventually filled to the brim and spilled over.
The resulting damage is more of an aggravation than anything, and Stiens said the cost of repairs is too small to merit filing an insurance claim.
As for the rest of the $250,000 remodel, the downstairs portion is complete and includes a new hallway ceiling and freshly painted woodwork.
Quite a bit of finish work remains upstairs, where rooms were reconfigured to create a couple of secure attorney/client conference areas, and some vintage oak flooring was stripped and re-varnished. Other spaces have been re-carpeted.
Also on the second floor, a small third courtroom has been equipped for use by visiting associate Circuit Court judges from neighboring counties.
One reason the project has taken longer than expected is the commission's determination to preserve as much of the landmark building's historic character as possible. To that end, an old-fashioned transom window was rebuilt above a doorway to the new conference rooms, and the door itself is being set into a replica 19th-century frame crafted by Stanberry cabinetmaker Rick Oldham.
The renovation has been partially funded through a $115,000 state Community Development Block Grant that requires a dollar-for-dollar county match. The new elevator, which conforms to the federal American with Disabilities Act, replaced a much smaller elevator put in years ago at the east end of the main first-floor corridor that remains as a service lift.