Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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March 5, 2014

Courthouse gets the thumbs up

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — The green light was finally given Monday to reopen the entire Garvin County Courthouse after three days of partial closings because of some major water damage.

Waiting throughout most of the day for an assessment to be completed, county commissioners were able to announce the entire facility, including the second and third floors, would be open for business starting today (Tuesday, March 4).

“The second and third floors are a go,” said District 3 Commissioner Johnny Mann.

“The courthouse will be open.”

Damage was sustained to both of those floors early last Thursday morning when a coil in a large air conditioning unit broke just above the ceiling tiles in the court clerk’s office on the courthouse’s third floor.

It’s believed the coil froze up causing it to break, while at the same time water continued to be pumped through the A/C unit.

That caused water to spew in throughout that office resulting in much of the floor being covered in water.

The water then spread to the large district courtroom, hallways and parts of the offices of two judges.

Water then escaped to outside the building and into parts of the second floor with damages reported in the offices of the county clerk and treasurer.

Just about anyone associated with the courthouse building sprung into emergency mode as most of Thursday was spent getting the flooded water out of the building.

Since then officials with TRC Disaster Solutions have used fans and humidifiers to try and extract moisture from damaged areas and walls.

The Oklahoma City company works to clean up the damages from wind, fire and water.

Still, both the second and third floors were closed this past Thursday and Friday, along with all day Monday.

Even though work is expected to continue in the offices it was announced late Monday afternoon the moisture levels in the damaged areas had dropped to the point where the entire courthouse can be opened to the public.

“We’re looking for some contractors to tell us it’s OK to turn off the fans and open up our courthouse,” Mann said earlier in the day during a phone conversation with a TRC official.

“We’ve got crews waiting so they can put it all back together.”

Mann was referring to shelves and land records being put back in their proper places on the second floor. All of that work got started late Monday.

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