Fayette County

Costs, repairs continue after October flooding at Fayette Circuit Courthouse

Crews cleaned up damage in courtroom B in the Fayette Circuit Courthouse, 120 North Limestone St., in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, October 22, 2013. Deputy Chief Justice Mary C. Noble of the Supreme Court of Kentucky conducted a media tour of the damage. A water line break during the evening hours on Oct. 20 at the Robert F. Stephens Circuit Courthouse caused extensive damage to sections of the first, second, third and fourth floors. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff
Crews cleaned up damage in courtroom B in the Fayette Circuit Courthouse, 120 North Limestone St., in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, October 22, 2013. Deputy Chief Justice Mary C. Noble of the Supreme Court of Kentucky conducted a media tour of the damage. A water line break during the evening hours on Oct. 20 at the Robert F. Stephens Circuit Courthouse caused extensive damage to sections of the first, second, third and fourth floors. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff Herald-Leader

Lexington already has paid $250,000 for repairs and clean-up of the Fayette Circuit Courthouse after water from a malfunctioning toilet damaged several floors of the building in late October.

The $250,000 came from money the Urban County government had set aside for emergencies, Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for the city, told the Herald-Leader. That money covered the deductible on the city's insurance plan. The rest of the cost of clean-up and repair will be paid for by the city's insurance policy, Straub said.

A final tab is not available, because reconstruction work is continuing, Straub said.

Jaime Ball, a spokeswoman for the Administrative Office of the Courts, said the second phase of repairs and construction on the courthouse should start soon.

"The flooding from the water line break caused extensive damage to sections of the first through fourth floors of the courthouse," Ball said. "The majority of those areas require complete interior repairs from floors to walls to ceilings and courtroom benches. The repairs have not yet been completed. Phase one of the build-back is done and phase two is expected to start soon."

The phase one areas that have been completed include the first and fourth floors of the courthouse, a courtroom on the second floor and a courtroom on the third floor. Phase two of the project will address the rest of the courthouse, including three courtrooms that are not in use. The Urban County Government will soon request bids for phase two.

Ball said it's not clear when construction at the courthouse will be finished.

The circuit courthouse is owned by the Urban County Government and leased to the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Significant areas of the building suffered extensive water damage in late October after a valve on a toilet on the fourth floor broke on a Sunday evening. A passerby notified security at the building after seeing water in a second-story window of the four-story downtown courthouse.

The courthouse was closed from Oct. 21 and partially reopened on Nov. 4. Circuit court cases were heard in the nearby district court or in federal court during that time.

Straub said most of the $250,000 deductible went to pay Servepro, a company that specializes in disaster clean-up including flooding.

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