It took about 10 minutes to lift the new dome on top of the Marshall County Courthouse.

Just more than 20 months after July 2018 tornado –there is again a dome atop the Marshall County Courthouse.

A couple of hundred County residents, most practicing their social distancing, ringed the courthouse and clapped, and some honked their car horns as the nearly 29,000 pound new dome was put into place. It took around 10 minutes from lift-off to landing, which may have seemed like an eternity to County Building and Grounds Superintendent Lucas Baedke.

“Kind of hard to wipe the smile off our faces — every once in a while it goes right. There’s no place like dome,” Baedke said. The project has faced numerous delays.

Marshall County Supervisor Bill Patten notes the work isn’t done — as the spire that sits atop the dome will need to be hoisted there later this year. “It’ll be an interesting thing when the spire goes up on top. Then they’ll build scaffolding around all that and climb up even higher,” Patten says.

It had been thought the tornado-damaged courthouse itself would be ready for occupancy in the Fall of 2019. But seeing the dome hoisted high atop the historic building was just what a Covid-19-weary crowd wanted to see and celebrate.

The hope is the courthouse will be open to the public by Christmas-time this year.

(Photo and story by Ken Huge, KFJB, Marshalltown)