HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Reno County Commission received an update on damage at the courthouse from earthquakes.
Structural engineer Brent Engelland says the only major problem seems to be the area where the dome connects with the rest of the building.
“We have what we feel is a pretty good concept to reinforce that area between the concrete and the steel,” Engelland said. “We can do it all from the inside. The area up in the middle of the dome is where the elevators rise up and it’s all an open space up there, relatively easy accessed, so we’re actually right now in the process of designing those reinforcements up there to stiffen that so we don’t have more cracking in the future.”
Before the earthquakes, the county had contractors take pictures and prepare bids to seal cracks anyway. Those contractors came back after the earthquakes to compare what was there before.
The main concern right now is cracks that could allow moisture in during the winter months. Engelland talked about having a cover on the dome during the winter months.
“What we think we would like to try to do is figure out a temporary cover for the dome area just to keep moisture out of it,” Engelland said.
Work will continue inside this winter to prepare for the work that will come on the exterior next spring.