Residents get tour of award-winning courthouse restoration during county celebration

Published 4:18 pm Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The recent renovation has won several awards, including the Award of Merit from Preservation North Carolina and both regional and national awards of excellence presented to contractors, Midwest Maintenance, from the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

County officials unveiled a plaque that will hang on the courthouse dedicating the courthouse to the citizens of Polk County. Named on the plaque is the board of commissioners who decided to restore the courthouse, including former commissioners Harry Denton, Ted Owens, Tom Pack, Tommy Melton (chairman at the time) and Warren Watson. Also named is former county manager Michael Talbert and current county manager Ryan Whitson along with Harris Architect and contractors, Midwest Maintenance, Progressive Contracting Company and Owings Mills, MD.

&dquo;The Polk County Courthouse is dedicated to the citizens of Polk County for whom the landmark is restored for many generations to come,&dquo; says the plaque.

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Polk County Clerk of Court Charlene Owens opened the unveiling of the plaque and said she and her staff are glad to be back in the courthouse for the third time. The county restored the courthouse beginning in 1999 and spent over $1.5 million on the project then. Problems with construction were found shortly after and the most recent restoration dealt mainly with structural and cupola repairs.

Of the total spent on courthouse renovations the past decade, $410,000 was privately raised by the Polk County Restoration Committee.

County Manager Ryan Whitson said he is very proud of the courthouse and said, &dquo;we have the prettiest courthouse in the state of North Carolina.&dquo;

&dquo;This courthouse represents Polk County,&dquo; Whitson said.