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Vt. Courthouse Requires $1 Million in Repairs

St. Johnsbury, Vt. (ap) — The Caledonia County courthouse’s crumbling foundation will require a $1 million repair job and at least several months of construction.

“It’s beginning to fail,” Bob Rea — Vermont’s East Region Director of Facilities for the Department of Buildings and General Services — told The Caledonian Record.

Replacing the foundation would take between four and six months at least, according to Rea. That estimate does not account for any delays that could happen if underground graves, which were discovered during the construction of the new section of the building, are also found under the old section.

Tentatively, the project to renovate the foundation would begin in May 2015, but Rea said the condition could worsen suddenly before then.

“I think they’re handling it the only way they can,” said State Sen. Joe Benning, a Republican from Lyndon. “Nobody anticipated this.”

Benning said the Department of Buildings and General Services told him the building is currently safe to occupy.

“But if that changes they’ll find the money and do it,” Benning said.

State workers saw interior cracks about two years ago, but three months ago workers noticed the cracks were much worse.

Upon investigation, Rea said they found that the foundation had “holes big enough to put an arm through.”

The repair project will involve stabilizing the building and replacing sections of the foundation at a time. Some offices would need to be shuffled to the new building during the repairs.