Luzerne County Courthouse restoration will cost $2.1 million

By Jennifer Learn-Andes - jandes@timesleader.com | September 10th, 2017 5:51 pm

Connecticut-based John Canning Co. will be paid $2.1 million to complete a restoration project inside the historic Luzerne County Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre, according to a newly released contract.

County Manager C. David Pedri and other administrators signed the contract review sheet Aug. 7, although it technically took effect July 7, according to the documents, which were posted last week at www.luzernecounty.org.

The project must be substantially completed March 9 and finished on April 6. The contract says “time is of the essence” and requires John Canning to pay $250 for each day the March 9 deadline is not met.

This first phase of interior restoration primarily covers repairs and cleaning inside the dome, rotunda and other nooks and crannies that require scaffolding.

John Canning and the only other company to submit a bid — New York City-based EverGreene Architectural Arts — both met experience qualifications, but John Canning submitted a lower price, county Operational Services Division Head Edmund O’Neill has said.

The Architecture & Engineering Group, also known as A+E Group, in Plains Township will oversee the project on the county’s behalf, the contract said.

The project will be funded by past-borrowed money and recently awarded grants, the paperwork says.

Initially, $1.15 million was available.

The county’s capital plan had earmarked $970,000 for the work. The county also received an $80,000 state Historical and Museum Commission grant and $104,385 from casino gambling revenue.

Pedri requested an additional $1.1 million for courthouse restoration in his proposed new capital plan, which took effect Sept. 1, county officials said.

The 108-year-old courthouse on River Street was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Plaster damaged from past leaks must be stabilized and replaced where sections are missing.

Four canvas paintings of women inside the dome representing common law, statute law, moral law and equity are another concern because they have been “highly compromised” by biological deterioration, according to an assessment report.

The project also will address the circular stained-glass window depicting the county seal atop the dome, which must be repaired and reinforced to correct serious bowing, officials said.

Luzerne County’s administration recently signed a $2.1 million contract for restoration work now underway inside the historic county courthouse in Wilkes-Barre.
http://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/web1_TTL082417Courthouse-restore2.jpgLuzerne County’s administration recently signed a $2.1 million contract for restoration work now underway inside the historic county courthouse in Wilkes-Barre. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

By Jennifer Learn-Andes

jandes@timesleader.com

HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES

Because the Luzerne County Courthouse rotunda will be out of commission during restoration, the administration is assessing what will be done about the annual tree-lighting ceremony held in early December, county Manager C. David Pedri said.

“We will have a tree somewhere,” he said. “It will probably be much smaller, and we are not sure of the location right now. But there will be a tree.”

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.

HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES

Because the Luzerne County Courthouse rotunda will be out of commission during restoration, the administration is assessing what will be done about the annual tree-lighting ceremony held in early December, county Manager C. David Pedri said.

“We will have a tree somewhere,” he said. “It will probably be much smaller, and we are not sure of the location right now. But there will be a tree.”


POLL