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Chatham commissioners award bid to rebuild historic Courthouse

Posted Thursday, October 6, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - At its meeting on October 3, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners unanimously awarded a bid to rebuild the historic county courthouse that was severely damaged by fire on March 25, 2010. The commissioners awarded the bid of nearly $4.41 million to H. M. Kern Corporation in Greensboro.

The commissioners approved the basic bid for construction as well as the installation of audio-visual and sound systems that will allow the courtroom to be effectively used for meetings of the Board of Commissioners. However, the board postponed the approval of $32,000 for bench seats in the courtroom until commissioners receive additional information on the seating options under consideration in the courtroom.

“We are excited that the process of rebuilding can begin,” said Commissioner Chairman Brian Bock. “All of us have missed our beautiful courthouse. When completed, it also will serve as an appropriate and effective meeting space for the commissioners since it will feature greatly improved sound and audio systems.”

Insurance on the courthouse is expected to cover the cost of reconstruction, according to David Hughes, Public Works Director. An investigation of the fire determined that contractors involved in renovations of the courthouse had accidentally caused the fire while using welding equipment near the roof.

Reconstruction is expected to start in the next few weeks and should be completed in late fall of 2012, about the same time as the new Chatham County Justice Center. Hobbs Architects, PA in Pittsboro serves as the project architects.

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