The Woodbury County Courthouse has been an intricate part of Siouxland for exactly 100 years to date, but the upkeep of such an old building hasn’t been easy.
The man in charge of courthouse maintenance, Kenny Schmitz says, “It’s a very valuable asset to our community. Most people don’t realize the historic value of the building itself.”
The Courthouse is one of about only 2,000 buildings in the US to be listed as a nationally historic landmark. But what does that mean for someone who’s in charge of the maintenance and upkeep of the building?
”It becomes difficult at times everything we do in the building we do have to take into account that it’s a national historic land mark. We don’t just go about drilling holes in the walls and putting up pictures or things like that. Work that we need to do has to be restorative in manner,” says Schmitz.
Meaning things can get a little costly.
“There are constant repairs to the building as there is with any building. Over the past two years we’ve done about 2.7 million dollars in restorative projects. That’s anywhere from courtroom windows, we’ve done some basement column deterioration repair in the basement, and we’ve recently done some decorative plaster repair in the rotunda. So there’s on going projects all the time,” says Schmitz.
$2.7 million may seem expensive for just two years of repairs, but not after the appraisal value puts that pricing into context.
“Originally this building was built for around $800,000. The value that’s been placed on it now- recommendations have been around $100 million If we were going to try and replace it at current day value,” says Schmitz.
Making the court house truly irreplaceable.
“It would be almost impossible in modern day to recreate a facility like this, just due to the man power, the intricacies that are used. The paintings the decorative plaster and the detail that is has is just not done in current day in age,” says Schmitz.