The restoration of the Medina County Courthouse is coming in $44,000 under budget and the county commissioners want to use the extra money to fix the deteriorated front entranceway to the historic building on Medina’s Public Square.
County Administrator Chris Jakab told commissioners Tuesday that the third phase of slate roofing, masonry work and painting that was contracted to Detroit Cornice & Slate Co., of Ferndale, Michigan, is costing $306,000 from the general fund.
The county had budgeted $350,000 for the final phase of the project, which began about three months ago.
The three phases of the restoration project, which began in 2011 with structural repairs to the courthouse’s clock tower, will cost an estimated $2.3 million. The money for the project is coming from the county’s share of casino revenue.
“The tower was leaning and we had to fix it because it was a hazard,” Commissioner Steve Hambley said. “It is the symbol of our county and our county’s government.”
Jakab said the first phase, to secure and straighten the tower, was the most pressing. The second phase was to refurbish and weather-proof the clock tower, he said.
Jakab said he expects the last phase of restoring the building’s entryway and balcony will require the remaining $44,000.
“We’re trying to stay within the resources that we have,” he said.
Commissioner Pat Geissman said she was surprised at the rough shape of the front steps of the courthouse.
“I guess I just always focused my attention on other things when walking past and didn’t notice how bad they were,” she said. “It would be irresponsible not to repair them.”
Jakab said the county is waiting for recommendations from an architect before starting the entryway project. Medina’s Historic Preservation Board also will need to review the additional project and approve it.
“We expect the entire restoration project to be completed by November,” he said.
Contact reporter Katie Anderson at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.