SUNBURY – The contractor for the $ 4.3 million Northumberland County Courthouse redevelopment project began erecting the scaffolding in front of the 156-year-old building along Market Street in Sunbury over the weekend.
It took the Bill Anskis Company of Elysburg about two weeks to assemble all of the scaffolding at the front of the building up to the bell tower. The courthouse entrance will remain open unless it is necessary to use the back entrance, according to Northumberland County Planning Coordinator Justin Skavery.
“There will be a worker there who will lead people through a passageway into the entrance,” Skavery said. “The back entrance is only used when needed or in an emergency. There is no ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessibility at the back, so we want to keep the front as open as possible.”
As soon as the scaffolding is done, the outside work will begin, he said.
“We will take every precaution to ensure that everyone who enters and leaves the courthouse is protected,” said Commissioner Sam Schiccatano’s chairman. “We will have security guards who will make sure that all work is stopped if someone walks in.”
Siccatano asked the public for patience as the project progressed.
“Within the next year or so we will have a renovated courthouse that will be more beautiful than it is now,” he said.
The original building was established in 1865 and the first day of judgment took place on August 6, 1866. The district court was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 30, 1974.
In May, the commissioner approved $ 4,351,670 of general contractor, electrical, and HVAC contracts. Elysburg-based Bill Anskis Company received the $ 2,782,315 general contract offer that includes two alternatives. Paxinos’ LTS Plumbing and Heating received the HVAC bid of $ 1,211,000. TRA Electric of Watsontown received the electrical bid of $ 358,355, which includes three alternatives.
Work includes installing new HVAC and electrical systems, adding a fourth courtroom and conference room on the second floor, restoring the exterior and painting the bell tower.
Part of the interior work has already started. The shelves and carpet of the law library on the second floor have been removed. Vents were made in the attic around the courthouse. Cables were laid underground between the courthouse and the PPL pools. The unused stairwell and vestibule outside the first courtroom have also been cleaned up, Skavery said.
The commissioners are also in the process of choosing the color scheme of the courthouse’s bell tower, he said.
The county received a $ 1.5 million grant through the Redevelopment Aid Capital Program and a $ 100,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) for masonry and window sills construction costs, which was a $ 100,000 grant Dollar was required by the county. The feasibility study has already used a US $ 23,500 Keystone Historic Preservation grant from the PHMC, which required the county to raise the equivalent of US $ 23,500.