Monday, October 15, 2007

Roof work a major milestone in saving Florence's Old Courthouse

[Source: Daniel Dullum, Casa Grande Valley Newspapers] -- For six years, Ernie Feliz has worked diligently to raise funds toward restoration of the Old Courthouse. It's taken a while, but the Pinal County grants coordinator is proudly seeing the results of his labors. On the morning of Oct. 3, Feliz watched anxiously as construction crews installed new support beams to reinforce the 1891 building's original, but sagging, trusses. "The old trusses will stay in there," Feliz said while watching a crane hoist another support beam toward the roof. "This is so critical because you won't have a building if you don't have a good cover."

In his six years as grants coordinator, Feliz has raised thousands of dollars to save the Courthouse. The first part of the renovation process was in 2005, when the clock tower was shored up and new shingles were installed at a cost of nearly $270,000. The majority of the funding for the project is raised through grants from various organizations. Feliz said this part of the renovation will cost about $650,000, money raised through grants from the Arizona State Parks Historic Preservation Heritage Fund, the Arizona Office of Tourism, and the Office of Housing and Urban Development. [Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Daniel Dullum]