After a string of tense meetings involving hefty change orders and closed-door discussions on potential litigation, the Project Development Board had a different kind of issue to debate Monday:
What kind of carpet will go in the Franklin County Circuit Clerk’s office?
Board members spent nearly two hours Monday going over carpet samples, light fixtures and audio/visual equipment for the new $30 million Franklin County Judicial Center.
It was a change of pace from two meetings ago, when the board spent an hour in closed session discussing potential litigation, and another trying to figure out where a $25,000 change order for paint originated.
With a little more than a year to go until completion, Judge-Executive Ted Collins said it’s time for the board to focus on the little things.
“We’re getting into a stage where we are getting into lots of details … like the lighting, the carpet, the trim and the colors,” Collins said.
“We’re a pretty engaging board … I think the whole board has a great interest in building the greatest judicial center we can build, and that takes involvement and time.”
Collins said the board will continue going over details at its next meeting.
He announced Monday that there will be a tour at the May meeting of the construction underway so members like Circuit Court Clerk Sally Jump and Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate can see what their offices will look like.
And as for the closed-door discussions, those may be over – for now.
Collins said the board has put Stites & Harbison PLLC on the backburner. The Frankfort law firm, which specializes in construction law, was hired at the end of last year to investigate the project’s change orders.
“We’re learning from the questions (Stites & Harbison) asked, and we’ll be getting some explanations,” Collins told The State Journal.
“We have stopped their work at this time … not to say we won’t re-engage them – we just kind of put them on hold for awhile.”
In other action Monday, the board voted to proceed with restoring the clock tower in the 1835 courthouse.
David Neal, who the board referred to as “The Clock Man,” will be brought on to take the clock’s inner workings and gears out of the tower and into the new judicial center’s lobby.
The clock’s “motor” will be displayed in a glass case for the public. Neal, who owns Tower Clock Restoration and Repair in Stanford, did a similar project for the new Henry County Courthouse.
This article has been updated to reflect Sally Jump's correct title. She was previously incorrectly identified as the county clerk.