Courtroom gets a face-lift

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Shavonne Potts

Salisbury Post

While families gathered during the Christmas holiday, construction crews worked fast to complete renovations to the courtroom where Superior Court cases have been heard for decades.

Crews had two weeks, beginning around Dec. 16, to complete some much needed refurbishing of the room, from ceiling to floor.

“We were fortunate that it came about that we had this two-week window,” said Rick Ridenhour, an operations manager with Rowan County Administrative Services.

Ridenhour said crews used the time when court was not in session to overhaul the courtroom, which was something that had been planned earlier in October.

Since he’s been a county employee, about 20 years, Ridenhour said he’s not seen any changes to that courtroom.

Workers from Miller Construction of Salisbury patched and repainted the walls and ceiling. They also repaired the courtroom benches where audience members sit.

Grove Supply Co. Inc. of China Grove replaced the flooring and carpeting. The pale green carpet was replaced with new brown carpet.

The carpet had been stained to the point that cleaning wasn’t enough. The stains no longer washed out, Ridenhour said.

Interiors by Cain of Spencer provided the new burgundy drapes.

The last time the curtains were cleaned, which was about 10 years ago, the cleaner wouldn’t guaranteed the curtains would make it through the cleaning process, Ridenhour said.

He said the flooring became soft, especially around the windows where water leaked in.

The windows were repaired with storm glass placed on the outside.

Of the planned renovations, the benches are the only items that still need to be replaced.

“The benches are in very bad shape,” Ridenhour said.

He said it takes about four months to receive replacement benches.

“We’ve looked into getting new ones. They have to make them to certain specifications,” he said.

For now, instead of replacing the graffiti-scarred benches, the work crew just made sure the seats were tightened and fastened to the floor.

The refurbishing was already written into the $69,750 courthouse budget.

The estimated total cost of the renovations was $26,500. Of that, $11,000 went for flooring; another $11,000 for painting, replastering of the walls and bench repairs; and $4,500 for the drapes and windows.

According to Ridenhour, the courthouse budget typically includes the cost of utilities, plumbing and any other needed repairs and construction.


Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or spotts@salisburypost. com.