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Jackson County approves $10 million for downtown courthouse improvements

Contracts to cover elevator, flooding repairs
Posted at 4:04 PM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 17:04:49-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County awarded more than $10 million in contracts for improvements to the downtown courthouse.

Jackson County legislators on Monday unanimously approved the two contracts, which will cover restoration of the building’s six elevators and repairs to the basement, which was damaged by flooding earlier this year.

Schindler Elevator Corporation was awarded the contract to replace or refurbish most of the elevator system’s operating components. The contract will also cover new cab interiors, in-car video displays and other technological devices, the county said in a news release.

At one point over the summer, the 15-story courthouse was down to one working elevator, prompting a 16th Judicial Circuit Court judge to write a letter to County Executive Frank White Jr., calling the situation "absolutely unacceptable."

Rand Construction Company was awarded the other contract to repair electrical and water lines in the basement that were damaged by flooding. Two water line breaks forced the downtown courthouse to close for nearly three weeks in late January.

Jackson County courthouse damage 3
The downtown Jackson County courthouse will not reopen until Feb. 19 as crews work to repair damage caused by two water line breaks.

Staff made repairs to the basement after the flooding, but the county says additional repairs are needed for the building to be fully operational in the long term.

The county said the repairs to the basement are covered under its insurance plan.

“This is a significant investment that is necessary for the long-term safety, security and accessibility of the courthouse,” White said in the news release. “My staff and the Legislature have worked tirelessly to get these projects off the ground. I am excited about the changes ahead and look forward to making future announcements about additional improvements to the essential and historic building.”