Earlier this month, Western Millwright Services of Russellville began the work of replacing 12 wooden columns at the three entrances to the Logan County Courthouse in Paris.
The company is being paid $212,440 for the work. Of that, Logan County is paying $68,000 with the rest coming from a grant from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, according to Logan County Judge Ray Gack.
“The work should be finished within 60 to 90 days,” Gack said.
The 12 columns support roofs on three sides of the structure, which was built in 1905. They need to be replaced because the existing wooden columns are rotting, Gack said.
Gack had initially hoped to use vinyl or another material for the columns because of concerns about weathering. However, since the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, wood has to be used.
The next step in the building’s renovation is to replace rotting wood on the clock tower of the structure.
The county had applied for another grant from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Society to pay for those repairs. Gack won’t know if the grant to repair the clock tower will be approved until later this year. The grant helping pay for the column replacement was awarded last year.
“Hopefully we get it because that clock tower is in bad shape,” Gack said. “I’m excited we’re going to be able to get this done,” Gack said. “We’ve got a pretty courthouse but we’ve got to keep it up.”