STANFORD — The old Lincoln County Courthouse is getting a new makeover with some very old materials.
The three main entrances on the courthouse are being replaced with doors made from reclaimed cyprus wood that is likely about the same age as the courthouse, said Steve Lucas, owner of the architectural company Helm Street Blues.
A green energy grant Lincoln County has received through the federal stimulus program is paying for new, energy-efficient entrances to be installed on the courthouse.
Lucas said the new entrances on the south, west and east sides of the courthouse will still look almost exactly like they did when they were originally built.
"We try to be true to the roots … and keep it as original as possible," Lucas said. "If we do our job right, people will be able to go into the courthouse and not know it's been redone. It'll just look like the doors are in super shape."
Helm Street Blues, a Stanford-based company, is in charge of the project, which has a total price tag of $46,665.28.
Judge-Executive Jim Adams said every company working on the project is locally based. Schuler Custom Wood is crafting the six replacement doors for about $29,000; Stanford Glass and Mirror is in charge of installing new "thermopane" glass for $6,000; David Bastin Painting is handling renovation and repainting of the entranceways for $8,100; and Helm Street Blues is getting a $3,200 design fee.
The new doors will look just like the current doors, but better.
"Those (old) doors have been there I think since 1909 and those doors are pretty much in shambles," he said.
The reclaimed cyprus wood the doors will be made out of is salvaged from river mud in southern states like Florida and Louisiana.
Lucas said around a hundred years ago, loggers would float cyprus logs down rivers to processing facilities, but some logs would get snared and dragged down along the way.
Now companies go in, find the old logs and pull them out for use.
"(The logs) are actually first-growth cyprus wood. It's virgin timber that's never been used," Lucas said. "It's almost like you cloned something from 100 years ago and brought it into modern times."
Lucas said cyprus is a naturally rot-resistant and resilient wood that makes good doors. It's the kind of wood that could have been used on the courthouse when it was first built.
Besides the new doors, the windows around the doors will also be upgraded to be more energy efficient, without changing their look.
While the original glass — bubbles and all — will remain in place on the outside, Lucas said the thermopanes will be installed on the inside of the entrances, preventing drafts without making a noticeable change in appearance.
On the east-side entrance where a handicap ramp has been installed, the door will be made handicap accessible via a motion sensor that will open the door as someone approaches.
Lucas said the cyprus wood is more expensive than other options, but the price is worth it for preserving the courthouse and avoiding chopping down any new forests.
Because the courthouse entranceways project only takes up a little more than a third of the $125,000 federal grant, Lucas said there are also plans to upgrade the ventilation systems in the county clerk's office to make it more energy-efficient.
Because the project is funded by stimulus dollars, all the materials are required to be made in America.
"We're trying to use local people and we're definitely using all-American products," Lucas said.