Meridian Star

October 12, 2012

Renovations continue for courthouse

By Brian Livingston / blivingston@themeridianstar.com
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Work is underway to replace the leaky roof at the Lauderdale County Courthouse.

    Crews with Daniels Roofing have been set up outside the courthouse much of the week, using a boom to hoist roofing equipment to the top of the building.

    "The work is going fine," Daniels Roofing Superintendent Craig Leonard said while eyeing motorists passing by close to the construction equipment. "The location is nerve wracking though."

    Joe Norwood, president of the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, said future renovations are planned for the inside of the building.

    "We wanted to get the roof done first because the water leaks were destroying the inside walls, roofs and floors," Norwood said. "Once we get this done, which is in its second phase, we can start to address other problem areas."

    Leonard said workers are tearing the old roof off, installing new insulation and building a new tar and gravel roof. This is the last phase of the job.

    Joe McCraney, county administrator for Lauderdale County, said the cost of the work underway now will run about $77,000 and that the work is guaranteed.

    Norwood said a feasibility study is being conducted to determine how best to proceed with other renovations to the aging courthouse, Annex Building and other county properties.

    Work is also underway to replace the roof of the Metro Ambulance building at 502 17th Ave. The cost for that project is about $44,200. The partnership between Metro Ambulance and the county is important, Norwood said. Years ago the ambulance company that provided emergency service coverage left without notice,  leaving residents with medical emergencies vulnerable. Norwood said with Metro Ambulance firmly entrenched in the area and its partnership with the county, medical coverage is constant and consistent.

    Norwood said the county is still pursuing the possibility of buying the Federal Courthouse building where the central post office is located. He said board members have contacted almost all of the state delegates seeking help to secure the building.

    "I've talked to Congressman Gregg Harper and Sen. Roger Wicker recently," Norwood said. "We have run out of room in the Annex Building so we need more space."