From Dirt to Concrete – Courthouse Office Gets Renovation

From Dirt to Concrete – Courthouse Office Gets Renovation


Washington County Surveyor Jeff Souder and his staff will be working out of the northwest corner of the courthouse basement for most of October, with normal hours.

They also have taken up some of the basement too, as their former office gets a bit of a facelift — at least a floor-lift.

Souder said the office was slated to be closed on Sept. 23 and Sept. 26 to have carpet replaced.

“We took up the carpet because of some moisture issues and then realized we were still having problems and a mold and mildew problem,” said Souder.

He said workers took up the wood floor and discovered an older wood floor underneath.

After removing that, workers found a dirt floor underneath.

“We were as surprised as anyone,” said Souder.

The courthouse was designed by Harry P. McDonald and his brother, both of Louisville, and built in 1886.

It is two-stories above a raised basement and features a five-story corner clock tower with a conical roof.

It is the third courthouse at that location and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

20161003_121726 20161003_121804 20161003_121847-1 20161003_121907 20161003_121915 20161003_122022Souder said the best theory he’s heard is that the corner office was used as a refuse pile where debris may have been thrown while the courthouse was constructed.

“I remember when I first took office in the 80s, I worked on the wooden floor. I talked them into putting carpet in then. Since then we’ve had moisture problems.”

Washington County Commissioner David Brown said Mike Goen Construction was doing the work.

“They hauled out four loads of old wood and dirt,” said Brown. “They’ve hauled in gravel and put in rebar and now they’re pouring the concrete to make it like the rest of the basement.”


Souder said it would take a week or so for the concrete to cure and then new carpet would be installed. “We’ll be displaced for most of October. But we will be here our regular hours — Monday – Friday 8:00am -4:00pm.”