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Chatham picks firm to rebuild courthouse

Posted October 4, 2011

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— Eighteen months after it was seriously damaged in a fire, Chatham County's iconic courthouse will soon begin to rise from the ashes.

The county Board of Commissioners on Monday awarded a $4.4 million contract to H. M. Kern Corp. in Greensboro to rebuild the courthouse. Work is expected to start in a few weeks and last a year.

“We are excited that the process of rebuilding can begin,” board Chairman Brian Bock said in a statement. “All of us have missed our beautiful courthouse. When completed, it also will serve as an appropriate and effective meeting space for the commissioners since it will feature greatly improved sound and audio systems.”

An investigation of the March 25, 2010, fire determined that contractors involved in renovations of the courthouse had accidentally caused the fire while using welding equipment near the roof.

The courthouse, which sits in a traffic circle at the intersections of U.S. Highways 64 and 15/501, was gutted, and its clock tower collapsed into the building.

Insurance on the courthouse is expected to cover the cost of reconstruction, according to county Public Works Director David Hughes.

Once rebuilt, the courthouse will include a courtroom, the Chatham Historical Association, a visitors' center, meeting space and art displays. Most of the county's court operations will be housed in a new Judicial Center slated to open next fall.

19 Comments

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  • hmkcorp Oct 5, 2011

    DOEE: The fire at the Chatham County Courthouse far exceeded the magnitude of that at the Alamance County Courthouse. That being said, please note our company was NOT responsible for the accident at Alamance County.

  • DOEE Oct 4, 2011

    If I remember correctly, during the Alamance Courthouse renovations work, the building caught fire also????

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Oct 4, 2011

    hmkcorp -

    Good to hear from you.

    Honest!

  • cantstandya Oct 4, 2011

    hmkcorp,"Please make sure that you use born here in the USA sub contractors and manpower,but glad a in state contractor was awarded the project.

  • hmkcorp Oct 4, 2011

    To smokewagon: No, we are not the same company that was working on this building when it burned.

    To all others: We are very experienced in restorations of historic buildings, having just completed the renovations to the Alamance County Courthouse. http://pub1.andyswebtools.com/cgi-bin/p/awtp-pa.cgi?d=hm-kern-corporation&type=3866

    We have also done numerous restorations to historical buildings that you can see at http://pub1.andyswebtools.com/cgi-bin/p/awtp-custom.cgi?d=hm-kern-corporation&page=881. I assure you we are excited about this project, and you will be pleased with the results once finished.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Oct 4, 2011

    I'll bring the marshmallows.

    ;o)

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Oct 4, 2011

    "An investigation of the March 25, 2010, fire determined that contractors involved in renovations of the courthouse had accidentally caused the fire while using welding equipment near the roof."

    "Insurance on the courthouse is expected to cover the cost of reconstruction, according to county Public Works Director David Hughes."

    The contractor's insurance should pay for it, not the courthouse's insurance.

  • mfarmer1 Oct 4, 2011

    WRAL can't you make this forum not except a message that has all caps? I mean you do a good job censoring everything else.

  • Shelley Cooper Oct 4, 2011

    call doc brown, he can hook up the flux capacitor and we can go back to before it got torched.

    maybe marty mcfly can save the courthouse again

  • snshine62d Oct 4, 2011

    It will never be same without the clock:(

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