Ready for a makeover
Courthouse project begins in June
By Robert Cloud
Visitors and staff will soon see work crews, scaffolding and a crane at the Waupaca County Courthouse.
The $1.6 million project to repair exterior sections and upgrade office space on the second and third floors of the building was approved as part of the 2018 county budget.
Work will begin shortly after Memorial Day and be completed around Labor Day.
Ron Hansen, maintenance supervisor for the courthouse and jail, said people going into the courthouse will continue to use the main entrance. However, signs will direct them to which doors they can use.
“When they’re working over the entrance, there will be a protective cover,” Hansen said.
Hansen said Miron Construction Co. will set up a site in the southwest corner of the parking lot. That will result in 20-25 fewer parking spaces at the courthouse.
Overflow parking is available to the northeast of the courthouse, in the lot across Matheson Street from the Law Enforcement Center.
Hansen said Miron crews will be working around the entire building, section by section.
The sections where they are working will be fenced off for safety reasons.
Dimension IV Madison Design Group inspected the building last year and found several areas of major concern.
The brick masonry parapet walls have failed and the mortar is splitting.
All exterior caulking is failing.
The steel plates that provide structural support between each floor have rusted and must be replaced.
On each side of the main entrance are large, brick parapets that tower above the roof line. There are six more smalller parapets around the building.
Crews will remove several layers of the existing brick work at the top of the parapets. They will caulk the tiles and windows and replace the steel plates.
Hansen said Miron will also replace the roof membrane and power wash the building.
The first change visitors will notice is that many of the trees and shrubs around the building will be removed, then replaced after the project is completed.
Inside the courthouse, major remodeling will be done on the second floor, where the Department of Health and Human Services has its offices.
Cubicles in a large office space off the main lobby will be replaced by work stations and five enclosed offices.
Hansen said the work stations use space more efficiently than the cubicles, which will allow for more clerical employees to work there.
Space currently used as an office will be made larger to accommodate a conference room adjacent to the lobby.
Four work stations will be placed in what is now a conference room.
A wall will be added to create a secure storage room.
On the third floor, where the courtrooms are located, the lobby areas for Branch I and Probate will be given separate counters so visitors may have more privacy.
In the district attorney’s office, an old file room will become a victim-witness room.
Hansen said Waupaca County will post progress reports on its website on the page for the Maintenance Department.