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County hires company for courtyard specs

By Debbie Wachter

New Castle News

The courtyard of the Lawrence County Government Center will take on a different look, perhaps sometime later this year.

The commissioners at their meeting Tuesday approved an agreement with Petrus Engineering to create specifications for the demolition and electrical and mechanical construction activities to take place outside of the main entrance of the building. Petrus will be paid up to $6,500 for the work.

The commissioners have been in the discussion stages about the plans since August. Mary Burris Landscape and Garden Design is designing a reconfiguration of the courtyard, at a maximum cost of $1,400. Burris, also a member of the Lawrence County Planning Commission, will be working in hand with the engineering firm on the specs, county administrator Jim Gagliano said.

Gagliano said the changes will include elimination of the concrete structures around the courtyard and installation of new sidewalks and plantings.

“We’re going to replace the entire thing,” he said. 

The main part of the courthouse was built in the 1970s and has a lot of concrete that has caused people mishaps in the past. The changes would make it more user-friendly and easier for people to get in and out of the building, according to the commissioners.

Gagliano said Burris had submitted a proposed scope of work to identify the layout of what she envisions. The plans also call for revising the parking area. 

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A monument honoring Lawrence County’s Medal of Honor recipients, located near the courthouse entrance, also will be updated and the name of Army Sgt. Leslie Halasz Sabo Jr. of Ellwood City, a soldier killed in the Vietnam War, will be added. 

The commissioners had said that the funds for the renovations would come from $40,000 the county received last year through insurance grants, along with similar amounts that are expected this year.

Also Tuesday, the commissioners:

•Appointed Tammy Barbati of Union Township to fill the vacant position on the Workforce Investment Board of the West Central Jobs Partnership. Barbati replaces Sam Gianetti, who recently retired.

•Certified $28,184.71 in county funds for agricultural preservation for 2018.

•Approved an agreement between the county planning department and the Center for Watershed Protection to pay up to $10,345 in grant money to provide stormwater training in various counties in northwestern Pennsylvania. The money is from a $30,000 grant that also was used for two previous stormwater management workshops.

•Noted that the courthouse will be closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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