County maintenance crews Thursday morning found a collapsed support beam in the basement of the Courthouse. The building was closed at that time and evacuated. A structural engineer has recommended the building be closed for two weeks.
During that time, work can be done to shore up the beams to allow the building to be occupied. More permanent work will be needed after that. According to the engineer, the beams only supported the first floor, not the entire structure. The preliminary inspection showed the support beam failed due to regular wear.
The structural engineer said the Law Enforcement Center construction taking place on the Courthouse grounds did not affect the support beams in the Courthouse. The building was first opened in 1897. Courthouse operations will be moved to the County Administration Building and other facilities.
(By Dave Vickers, KROS, Clinton)