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Noticed the scaffolding on the Whatcom County Courthouse? This is what’s being fixed

Scaffolding wraps the Whatcom County Courthouse

A more than $5 million repair and maintenance project is expected to fix water problems at the courthouse in Whatcom County, Wash., where scaffolding should be in place through late fall 2019.
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A more than $5 million repair and maintenance project is expected to fix water problems at the courthouse in Whatcom County, Wash., where scaffolding should be in place through late fall 2019.

A more than $5 million repair and maintenance project is expected to fix water problems at the Whatcom County Courthouse, according to Rob Ney, project and operations manager with the Whatcom County Facilities department.

Ney said the courthouse has historically had problems with water getting inside the building, such as seeing water on the inside of windows. Failing brick panels, cracks in the stucco-looking material on the building, two roofs and other exterior areas will be fixed as a part of this project, Ney said. Several hundred windows will also be replaced, he said.

“Every part where there could be an exposure, we’re making sure it’s fixed properly,” Ney said. “We’re doing an awful lot to reduce and eliminate any water.”

Ney said the project is part of a larger, long-term maintenance project that began in 2014 or 2015. Work for this specific project began in late June. He said the work is scheduled to wrap up around the end of November, depending on weather. The scaffolding seen on the outside of the courthouse building could be up until the project finishes, and will work its way around the building as work is completed on the project, Ney said.

He said the largest impact to operations happening inside the building is noise from either pressure-washing the areas where work is being done or from drilling the scaffolding into place.

Dawson Construction was awarded the work contract, Ney said.

Reporter Denver Pratt joined The Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers courts and criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.
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