Schuyler Courthouse (copy)

Cracks on the Colfax County Courthouse in Schuyler show the need for exterior renovations on the building.

Lee Enterprises file photo

A three-story aerial platform began creeping around the outside of the historic Colfax County Courthouse last week as workers delicately remove the decorative terra cotta embellishments for restoration during the next couple of weeks.

A crew from Fort Scott, Kansas-based Mid-Continental Restoration Inc. began the job Nov. 27 and expected to take one to two weeks to remove the clay-based embellishments from the nearly century-old courthouse and complete some patchwork.

Colfax County commissioners met with restoration workers Nov. 28 to ask them if they could work in collaboration with the district and county courts to minimize construction noises while judicial proceedings are scheduled.

Meanwhile, the three-member board was disappointed to receive no bids for concrete improvements that will make the courthouse compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.

The board opted to schedule another bid letting for Jan. 9 while taking time between now and then to notify area contractors about the job.

“I don’t think a lot of them knew about the bid letting,” Chairman Gil Wigington said last week.

In September, the board unanimously agreed to accept a $962,564 bid from Bierman Contracting Inc. for the courthouse renovation project, but rejected the Columbus company’s $73,000 alternate bid to make the exterior landings and sidewalk ADA-compliant.

The renovation work, needed because moisture has penetrated the courthouse's exterior in spots, separating the bricks from the walls and cracking and wearing away the glaze on the terra cotta, will extend well into 2018.

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