Election Board renovation nears completion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 7, 2000

Lawrence County Board of Elections employees will begin moving into their new home in a few weeks.

Wednesday, June 07, 2000

Lawrence County Board of Elections employees will begin moving into their new home in a few weeks.

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Renovation work to the board’s first floor courthouse office is nearing completion, executive director Mary Wipert said.

We should start to move things in a couple of weeks," she said.

Crews with Meade Construction of Ashland, Ky., were installing carpet and working on lighting, heating and air conditioning on Tuesday.

Since renovation work began about April 1, election board employees have worked from a temporary office in the first floor lobby area of the courthouse.

At that time, plans called for the more than $200,000 project to take three months, with contractors making major repairs to the floor, walls and work spaces.

The project basically "guts" the board offices, Mrs. Wipert said.

Floors will be more stable, offices will be brighter with light color walls, and the walls will no longer be a breeding ground for mold, she said.

Office spaces will be redesigned so that the majority of employees will be near the front of the main room, visible to the public, Mrs. Wipert said.

Other work areas can finally be rearranged to improve efficiency and there will be some offices that are partitioned off from the main office area.

Although the board’s temporary home has been crowded, employees were grateful to see the renovation project begin because it has been in the works for about the last five or six years, Mrs. Wipert added.

The board tried to start the project last year but delays pushed construction too close to the November General Election.

Design work and construction bids were finalized early this year and the project began shortly after the board finalized the March primary election results.

Before renovating the floors, the county also dug up an old sewer line that ran under the office.

The old sewer line, most likely the cause of an odor that forced the office’s closure several times in the past year, was replaced with a new line, Mrs. Wipert said.

Since then, contractors have built the new floor and added new walls.

Now, painting and finish work should begin in the office spaces, she said.

"We should be moved in and ready to go in two or three weeks," Mrs. Wipert said. "They haven’t got the doors hung but it’s coming along."

Renovations will not only improve the appearance of the board of elections but should also provide better working conditions that will increase efficiency, she added.