The Historic Lassen County Courthouse remodel plans are moving forward, and only time will tell how far the designated funds will go for the more than 100-year-old infrastructure on South Lassen Street.
During the Tuesday, Nov. 12, Lassen County Board of Supervisors meeting, the board unanimously opted for the county administrative officer to sign an agreement for about $184,000 with Lionakis to provide architectural and engineering services for the demolition of the courthouse project.
In 2018, Lassen County obtained about $8.45 million in grant funding from the state for renovations to the courthouse and the annex building.
The goal for the grant is to preserve the historic, architectural and cultural value of the grounds and buildings, constructing ADA improvements, bringing the building up to code regarding seismic, fire and other hazards, and updating lighting, windows, heating, ventilation, cooling, mechanical and plumbing. There is also hope to renovate vacated courtrooms and offices into usable space.
There are five phases to the courthouse remodel project.
The first, Phase 0, was moving everybody out of the Historic Courthouse.
According to County Administrative Officer Richard Egan, currently only the Clerk/Recorders office is left in the building and is moving into the annex temporarily.
Once empty, Phase 1, the demolition, will begin. After the initial demolition, the county will see where seismic work will need to be completed and any structural improvements required. After that, the county will work on the “backbone utilities” including electrical upgrades, (currently there are some exposed wires and pipes in the building), the HVAC systems and ADA upgrades, including an elevator or lift, life safety and energy efficient upgrades such as windows.
The county will then look at the restoration of the historic courtroom, hallways and entry, maintaining the historical integrity of the original work.
The county will also look at completing the exterior ADA improvements and parking, while conducting a rough finish of the basement and attic.
During the Tuesday meeting, there was some discussion regarding Lionakis’ speed at getting tasks completed in a timely manner. Egan noted Planning and Building Deputy Director Pete Heimbigner and Deputy CAO Tony Shaw were great at holding the firm accountable.