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County Begins To Fix Crumbling Courthouse

The sky isn’t falling, but the plaster lining the columns and walls of the Bonneville County Courthouse is coming down in chunks.

She’s seen a lot in her old age. The courthouse is a registered historic landmark and has a personality of her own. Now, she’s finally cracking up.

Plaster is cracking and falling off the columns and walls surrounding the central rotunda.

The plaster in the building is really old, and when it was first smoothed onto the courthouse walls, the process for pouring plaster was a real pain in the “mane.”

“They used to use horse hair,” said contractor Bart Davis. “They’d take and trim the tails and the manes off of horses, mix it into the plaster.”

That horse hair is unraveling, and the plaster is weakening.

In its place, contractors will put Styrofoam, fiberglass and a Gypsum overcoat. It will retain the shape of the old space with more durability.

The project is causing the courthouse offices to look like a game of Chutes and Ladders.

“The personnel office is accessible from the other entrance to the recorder’s office,” said County Clerk Ron Longmore. “So the treasurer’s and these two courtrooms are accessible through the law enforcement entrance.”

Contractors said they will finish up work on one section of the rotunda area in the next few days. After that, they’ll move to a new section and work in phases for three to four months.

“We’ll be glad when it’s over,” said Longmore. “But it’s something that has to be done.”

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