Photo by George Lauby
On the job in early December
For nearly five months, equipment and crews have moved around the Lincoln County Courthouse, perched on platforms atop long crane booms. In early September, All City Glass of Kearney and North Platte began the $358,000 installation of new windows at the courthouse and the District 9 Probation office across the street.
The east 1960s section of the courthouse was first to be renovated and several employees have said that the difference is significant, with less cool air wasted in warm weather and virtually no drafts in colder weather.
Some courthouse offices still have to adjust indoor temperatures with space heaters or by opening windows because of inconsistent heating, but that problem should be solved next year when a new heating and cooling system is due to be installed.
Once the new glass was installed on the east addition, the crews moved to the probation office and then back to work on the oldest part of the courthouse, built in 1920. According to Dean Schoene, Project Manager for All City Glass, all the windows are now installed, except a few that have not arrived from the manufacturer.
As of Feb. 3, the south courthouse doors were removed and crewmen were installing new doors. That leaves the east and north doors to be renovated before the job is finished. Schoene expects the work, other than a few loose ends, to be complete within two weeks.
Schoene said a three-member crew has done most of the work and accomplished a lot.
The new windows are double pane with a layer of argon gas between that acts as a thermal break. They do not conduct heat or cold from the outside and impede loss of heat or cool air from the inside. A slight tint in the glass on the south side helps reduce heat from the sun. Schoene said the architect called for non-tinted glass on the north side to let in natural light away from the sun.
The argon gas also helps deaden the outside noise and prevent frost from forming between glass layers.
Argon gas is inert and does not react to other elements thus providing insulation. It is non-toxic and the third-most prevalent gas in the atmosphere.
Installation of windows and doors are phase two of a three-phase improvement for the 94-year-old courthouse. Last summer, a $170,000 electrical “service entrance” was installed to accommodate electrical upgrades in the future.
Next year, a new heating and cooling system is planned.
Then, handicapped accesses are expected to be improved.