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Wyandot County courthouse set for $2.25M in repairs

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The Wyandot County courthouse will remain open during the construction work.

The Blade
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UPPER SANDUSKY, Ohio — Wyandot County Commissioners are moving ahead with a $2.25 million plan to repair the roof and domes on the county’s historic 1899 courthouse.

The county board signed a contract Thursday with Midstate Contractors Inc., a Marion, Ohio, company that specializes in historic building restoration and preservation. Midstate will serve as general contractor for the project, which Commissioner Ron Metzger said should begin this summer.

“It’s been a long process,” he said. “We’re excited and ready to see some things happen.”

Wyandot County voters overwhelmingly approved a six-year bond issue last November that will generate some $2.25 million for the work on the courthouse — a local landmark that was used for the filming of courtroom scenes in the 1994 movie, The Shawshank Redemption.

Bond proceeds are earmarked for structural improvements to the courthouse exterior, not for cosmetic work to its elegant and well-preserved interior.

Mr. Metzger said its leaking roof is to be replaced, copper gutters are to be repaired, and domes atop the roof are to be restored.

“The roof is in worse shape than we expected,” he said. “We’ve determined we’re going to remove all of the concrete roof and we really weren’t planning on that. We still feel we’re going to get the roof and the dome done, but we may have to cut back on a little of the stone work underneath the gutters.”

There are no plans to move the common pleas court or any other county offices during construction. Mr. Metzger said some work may be done on weekends to avoid disrupting normal business hours.

“It’s going to be a timing thing,” he said. “They’ve commented that they may work some weekends. If you’re taking the roof off over the courtroom, you can’t have anyone in there, but the courthouse will remain open.”

Courthouse tours will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday as part of The Shawshank Redemption’‍s 20th anniversary. Information on the tours and other events related to the celebration is available at shawshank20.com.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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