Courthouse renovation set to begin

Thu, 07/03/2008 - 12:52pm
By: Ben Nelms

Courthouse renovation set to begin

The rehabilitation of Newnan’s landmark 1906 courthouse is nearly set to begin. Work on the $7.5 million Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax-funded (SPLOST) project will start up in early fall and is expected to be completed in 12-18 months.

County spokesperson Patricia Palmer said June 27 a committee of 14 citizens from across the county had worked together to make recommendations on the future of the building and are now reviewing the findings of the architects along with studying the historic look of the building. 

“Preserving the courtroom and grand jury room, along with using historically accurate materials and colors has been a goal of this committee from the beginning,” Palmer said.

And outside, the majority of the work planned for the dome will involve repairing and replacing the trimwork and placing a waterproof barrier behind the copper sheeting, said Palmer, noting that scaffolding will likely be built up around the tower and the dome for the installation.

Palmer said architectural firm Lord, Aeck & Sargent is completing the construction documents and four construction firms have been pre-qualified to do the work, with the plan of awarding the bid in late July. The floorplan of the building will remain essentially the same but with the addition of an elevator and accessible restrooms. 

“We found that this building is in really good condition,” said Courtney Swann with Lord, Aeck & Sargent. “It has been maintained well and the condition of the walls, the ceiling, the dome and most of the floors were all in good condition.”

Palmer said a conservator took finish samples of the plaster and trim in the courtroom and the hallways and was able to determine the original colors of those locations. The samples show the different shades of the walls and trim over the years. The palette for the hallway includes an off white/cream for the ceiling, a golden brown for the top of the wall and a milk chocolate brown for the lower part of the wall. The palette for the courtroom includes the same off white/cream for the ceiling and the brown for the lower part of the wall, but with a warm green for the top of the wall and a brighter gold for the plaster trim. 

“Sometimes the original palette of a room or building just doesn’t seem acceptable to an owner. Color is very subjective. However, the colors we discovered make a nice, warm and natural palette, which the citizens committee liked. Using these colors will help keep the project as historically accurate as possible,” said Swann.

login to post comments