Archive rehabilitation closer to reality

Last updated: July 10. 2014 11:51AM - 167 Views
By - ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com

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The Kentucky Heritage Council recently reviewed an application submitted on behalf of the Logan County Fiscal Court and determined that the proposed rehabilitation of the Logan County Archives building has meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation provided the completed work meets the necessary conditions.

In March 2013, Logan County Magistrates discussed renovating portions of the old county jail on 4th Street in Russellville. The Archives and Genealogical Society now calls the historic structure home. Problems have surfaced with rain getting into the building as well as issues with the electrical system, which is outdated and a safety hazard.

Architect Robert Burge, who was in charge of the old courthouse renovation, was hired by the fiscal court to look into the problems and come back with solutions.

The archives is the home of some of the county’s oldest documents and is operated by two part-time employees and a handful of volunteers. The building, erected in 1869, once served as the county jail with living quarters in the front where the jailer resided. The bars are still visible from the outside of the structure and the cells are all intact. The building is listed on the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society.

The county will be looking into selling tax credits to help pay for the project. The preliminary determination of maximum credit amount allocated for the project is $9,838.55. The total credit amount approved for all taxpayers submitting applications for this year is limited by state legislation to $5 million. The total eligible credits approved for this year was $13,644,836.92 and exceeded that limit.

Burge said there are problems with water erosion that is pushing the mortar out of the building walls, adding there are actual holes where sunlight peeks through.

“The trim is separating from the brick,” Burge said. “Water is leaking into the brick. The mortar is solid, but the water is infiltrating in there and is pushing it out.”

The electrical system needs replacing as well. Burge said in years past there was one hot wire and one grounded wire that led to a switch on the wall to turn on the lights. He said some of the hot wires are still active, and if a rodent gets on them and is electrocuted, it could catch fire and burn the structure down.

Total anticipated cost for the project is $120,000.

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