Crook County Courthouse Annex is getting remodeled to fix maintenance issues

JASON CHANEY - The exterior of the Crook County Courthouse Annex is undergoing repairs to fix several maintenance issues.

The Crook County Courthouse Annex has several problems that need addressed.

Work to remedy some of the more pressing issues is scheduled to start at the end of this month, and once it is finished, the building's exterior will sport a new look.

County Commissioner Brian Barney, who has worked with others to determine the building's maintenance issues, points out that the annex was built back in the 1950s. It first housed several different private business offices before the county took it over and renovated it for government purposes. The facility currently houses the County Juvenile Department, Community Corrections Work Crew, and the County Meeting Room where the Crook County Court hosts its public sessions.

"It has problems," Barney said of the aging building.

Concerns first emerged several years ago, he explained, when employees began to have frequent eye irritation.

"SAIF came in and did a study and found some white mold in the building," he said. "It is not something that is dangerous, but it is an eye irritant."

Barney noted that the building had a leaking roof, which contributed to the problem. It has since been patched, but the windows have wooden frames fitted into block openings that are covered with EIFS. Exterior Insulation and Finish System is essentially comprised of insulation board with a water-resistant finish.

"Some of the tests have revealed that (the EIFS exterior) is lacking," Barney said. In addition, the window trim aims straight out from the exterior walls as opposed to a downward slope, causing the wood to collect snow and ice.

"That material was absorbing it, and it was going back into the building," he said.

To fix the deficiencies and prevent white mold from forming in the building going forward, the county is going to give the exterior a facelift. They will remove the EIFS material and fix the window seals and the roof cap at the tops of the walls.

The county will also pick paint colors to complement Prineville City Hall, which is one block away, but Barney stressed that the renovation is not intended to be a beautification project.

"It is just doing the necessities to get by until we can do something on a larger scale," he said.

The work will be completed by CS Construction for about $160,000. It will begin on May 29 and is expected to take eight weeks but not prevent use of the building nor conflict with any summer events in the area such as the Crooked River Roundup Parade.

Barney said that the county could potentially spend more than a million dollars if they tried to fix all of the problems plaguing the building, but they opted to fix the most pressing issues first and address other ones as they can afford to.

Other recent fixes to the facility include the addition of a carbon dioxide sensor that helps trigger the HVAC system to draw in fresh air when oxygen levels dip due to poor airflow throughout the building. County officials also discovered that during a prior renovation, a toilet was removed from the building but was not sufficiently capped. As a result, sewer gasses were leaking into the building and causing a foul odor.

"We fixed that," Barney said.

Going forward, the building still needs an updated HVAC system, Barney said, and it has some electrical issues that need addressed when funding is available.

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