Photo by George Lauby
Scott Sawyer, at left, and Jake Orr install new windows in the motor vehicle office Monday.
Work got underway Friday to replace the windows in the Lincoln County courthouse, and it made a lot of difference right away. The windows on the east addition of the courthouse, built in the 1960s, will be replaced first, then at the probation office and then back to the old courthouse. Then all the doors will be replaced.
The job could take until Christmas, said Scott Sawyer, a worker from All-City Glass of Kearney.
A courthouse custodian said the temperature inside one of the first new windows (on the south side of the building) was 15 degrees below the temperatures inside the old window. He took the readings in the county commissioner's meeting room.
The new windows are better insulated, Sawyer said. The frames have a “thermal break” in them, so they won't conduct the outside temperature into the building. The slightly tinted glass resists heat too, he said.
The commissioners authorized the work in June, after All-City submitted a $358,000 bid. All-City Glass is headquartered in Kearney with an office in North Platte.
The replacement of windows and doors is the second phase of several improvements to the courthouse over several years.
Phase one was last summer – a new $170,000 electrical “service entrance” to accommodate electrical upgrades, including more outlets, in the future.
An independent consultant recommended the major improvements in 2011. Currently, space heaters are sometimes used in offices during the winter while windows are open in other offices, due to uneven heating.
Next year, phase three will be new heating and air conditioning. And the year after that, the commissioners have said they plan to improve handicapped access.
The total improvements are expected to cost around $1 million.
In business Monday, the commissioners whittled away at the 2013-14 budget in a work session.
A public hearing is set next week, on Monday, Sept. 16.
After the meeting, Commissioner Joe Hewgley said the board has cut about $450,000 from the first budget projections.