- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) - A construction crew has started repairing stones on the southeast corner of the Gage County Courthouse, work that’s expected to take two weeks to finish.

The project was supposed to start last month, but rain pushed the repairs, estimated at $11,300, into October, the Beatrice Daily Sun reported (https://bit.ly/1vPq93T ).

Parts of some stones began flaking off after moisture seeped behind them. To repair the stones, Masonry Construction is chipping away the surface of some and closing the gaps with a filler that will match the sandstone on the top two-thirds of the building.

“The hardest thing to do is get an exact match because each stone might vary in color,” said Dave Jones, courthouse building and grounds manager. “They’re very particular about the color that they’re using.”

The limestone on the lower portion of the courthouse building doesn’t need to be repaired. It’s stone that’s still original to the building, though coatings have been added to it through the years.

Jones said the long-term plan is to work on a different section of the courthouse building each year to restore stones. He said stonework isn’t needed everywhere on the building, “just certain areas where moisture damage was probably dripping out of the gutter or downspout area.”

“A long time ago they used to waterproof these buildings and it was probably a very good waterproof system, but now it’s more of a breathable waterproof system that does let moisture and air out,” Jones said.

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Information from: Beatrice Sun, https://www.beatricedailysun.com

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