Schuylkill courtroom to get air conditioning
The beautiful stained glass ceiling in Courtroom Number 1 in the Schuylkill County Courthouse will get air conditioning for the first time in 128 years. LISA PRICE/TIMES NEWS
For 128 years, there were two solutions for anyone who felt overheated in Courtroom No. 1 at the Schuylkill County Courthouse: sweat or fan yourself.
The cavernous, gorgeous room will soon have an air conditioning system. During a meeting last Wednesday, the Schuylkill County Commissioners approved the advertisement for bids, which must be received by the Controller’s Office by 3 p.m. March 4. Bids will be publicly opened at 9 a.m. March 6, with a tentative award date of March 13.
The commissioners didn’t have an estimate on cost. Chairman George Halcovage did say that installation of an air conditioning system is less about comfort, and more about historical preservation. He said that the detailed aspects of the room’s construction, such as paintings and carvings, should be in a climate-controlled environment.
The cornerstone for the present location of the Schuylkill County Courthouse was laid in 1889. The completed building, dubbed the “Temple of Justice,” was opened for business in September 1891.
In a matter related to projects and bidding, the commissioners approved and delegated contract authority to County Administrator Gary Bender, Director of Finance Paul Buber and Chris Kerns, Assistant Fiscal Officer. For the calendar year 2019, the three can approve contracts with a bid limit threshold of $20,600, and $11,100 threshold for telephone quotes. Buber and Bender can also approve budget adjustments which are less than $1,000 within a department.