Third-floor concerns first step in courthouse improvement project

10:00 am | October 31, 2013

Materials contributing to the weight bearing down on the third floor of the Carter County Courthouse aren’t the only things being removed in a renovation project, as some personnel are now going about their jobs with fewer worries, thanks to some changes and re-locations.

As a result of the removal of heavy materials on the third floor of the courthouse, the damage to the floor can be seen.

As a result of the removal of heavy materials on the third floor of the courthouse, the extent of the damage to the floor can be seen.

Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey said that specific safety concerns about the location of an employee’s office on the third floor have been addressed.

“We have opened up an office here on the second floor in the front of the building,” Humphrey said. “We went in and painted and put in new carpet and refurbished that.”

Pam Worth and Greg Largent, who are with Assessor of Property Ronnie Taylor’s reappraisal and field work team, are now located in Room 217 across from the Emergency Management Agency’s office.

“It has worked out great,” Humphrey said.

Despite its condition, Worth said she misses her old office.

“It’s hard after being up there for 24 years,” she said. “It’s like leaving home.”

Taylor said he had been concerned with how Worth would be able to get out of the building in the event of a fire since he started working for the office in 2008.

“There is no fire escape, and it’s a dead end,” he said.

Worth agreed, “I feel more safe now.”

Humphrey said rearranging materials and offices was necessary because the weight on the third floor was a threat to overall safety.

“It had become a catch-all over the years,” Humphrey said. “It had caused substantial stress on that part of the building.”

A “considerable amount of files” have now been removed from the third floor, he said.
“Now, we have removed the bulk of the files from those areas and lightened the load on the floor systems,” Humphrey said. “We do have currently still a lot of empty cabinets and desks and things that are not as heavy in those areas. We will be working to remove those items as well over the next five or six months.”

First, officeholders will be asked whether they would like or need any of the remaining materials for their offices. Then Humphrey said the rest will be included in the annual county auction.

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