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Published: Wednesday, 12/19/2007

Seneca County courthouse estimate to get update

TIFFIN Seneca County Commissioners yesterday signed a contract with a Cleveland firm to update its cost estimate for renovating the county s 1884 courthouse.

In a 2-0 vote Commissioner Mike Bridinger was absent commissioners agreed to hire Westlake Reed Leskosky to update the plan, using today s costs, for a price not to exceed $7,500.

In 2003, the firm, which specializes in historic restoration and renovation, estimated construction costs at $5.9 million and nonconstruction costs and contingencies at $2 million. The estimate included replacing the Art Deco clock tower with a fiber-glass copy, restoring the third-floor courtroom by removing a law library that was added above, relocating an elevator, and reopening the courthouse s original rotunda.

While commissioners voted last year to raze the vacant courthouse, they have agreed to ask voters to approve an $8.5 million bond issue in March to support renovation. Commissioners do not plan to collect the tax but would use it as backing for bonds that would be paid off with existing revenues.

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