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Contractors will begin staging for work to replace the Historic Parker County Courthouse’s roof, and to fix the clocks on the clock tower beginning the week of Sept. 18.
Commissioners awarded the contract to replace the roof and repair the clock and clock tower to Parson’s Roofing.
Parker County Judge Mark Riley said he is thrilled that years of hard work will soon be paying off with scaffolding set to go up around the clock tower next weekend.
“This has been a long process,” Riley said. “When you are dealing with historic buildings, the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and multiple insurance companies, things can get drawn out. However it is important that we go through the proper channels and get the work done right.”
Commissioner Larry Walden who served on the Courthouse Roof Project Committee said he is pleased work is about to begin.
“After the extensive work that we have done with the Texas Historical Commission and the architect we are excited to finally be able to begin the process of restoration of the clock, the clock tower, the windows and the roof of the courthouse,” Walden said. “It took multiple meetings with the state to gain their approval on the plan. It took several meetings with numerous groups but the good news is the planning is done and work is ready to begin.”
Parker County applied for a grant from the THC for financial assistance replacing the roof. Unfortunately, after a six month process, Parker County wasn’t awarded any funds as the grant money was awarded to poorer counties.
“We had to give it our due diligence,” Riley said. “This isn’t a simple project; it never is when dealing with historic buildings. As much as we would like to have rushed things, it just doesn’t work that way.”
Historic courthouse restoration, roof replacement and repair for Texas counties require the THC to have final say on plans and materials, which also slows down the process, Riley said.
Earlier in the process, Parker County Commissioners approved a contract with Komatsu Architecture, a firm with experience in restoration of older buildings, to come up with a plan for the repair and replacement.
Temporary repairs have been made to stop leaks that were coming from the gutter system.
“Once we had the leaks stopped, it allowed us time to not rush the project,” Riley said. “We have gone through countless meetings working with Komatsu and Parson’s Roofing to make sure we get this project done correctly and with minimal impact to the public and to the look of the building.”
Riley said he emphasized the need to limit the aesthetic impact to the courthouse.
“Parson’s agreed to use scaffolding only around the clock tower, eliminating the need for scaffolding all around the base of the building,” Riley said. “They are working with us to minimize the impact on the courthouse lawn, which will hopefully allow us to continue our tradition of Christmas decorations. I have also secured a plan for the contractor’s portable office building to be placed on the county’s parking lot off York St. instead of the courthouse lawn.”
Repair and replacement of the roof and clock tower is expected to take up to 12 months. County officials have worked with the City of Weatherford and TxDOT to deal with traffic situations that may arise from moving necessary materials onto the Courthouse Lawn, according to Riley.