The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

June 27, 2013

Agreement approved to revamp county archives

Repairs, renovations pending application acceptance by ALDOT

By Kim West

— The County Commission approved a $389,512 agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation to revitalize the Limestone County Archives building during Wednesday’s work session.

Because the next regular meeting is Monday, commissioners suspended the rules to move forward on the project application, which includes 80 percent funding through the ALDOT Transportation Alternatives Program and a 20 percent match from the county.

ALDOT will pay $311,610, while the county’s share is $77,902 to overhaul the 108-year-old building, previously occupied by the Athens train depot for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.

The application will be pending approval by the ALDOT program.

More than half of the project cost will go toward siding replacement, interior and exterior paint and a handicap-accessible ramp. The county also intends to install a fire sprinkler dry system and a fire alarm system.

The need to repair the archives was mentioned several months ago by Commissioner Steve Turner after speaking to county Archivist Rebekah Davis. She previously applied for a grant through the Alabama Historical Commission for a sprinkler and alarm system that was not approved by the AHC.

Davis, whose annual maintenance budget is $3,200, attended a previous work session this spring to explain maintenance needs for the archives.

The 1905 building at 102 W. Washington St. has been designated nationally and by the state as a historical site. Davis previously said the cost would be $368,000 to replace the building, not including archival materials.

The commission will meet at 10 a.m. Monday, July 1, at the Clinton Street courthouse annex.