The Ray County Courthouse received a $65,800 grant to make much-needed masonry repairs and for exterior cleaning.
Rep. Bob Nance made the announcement on Tuesday, Dec. 16 and said the grant is a part of the Missouri Heritage Properties Program to help preserve historic publicly owned buildings.
Nance said, “This round of grants targeted county-owned properties, such as historic courthouses.”
This fall, a portion of one of the columns on the north side of the courthouse toppled into the column near it and was noticed by one of the businesses across the street. The commissioners secured the area and brought a crane in to safely remove the loose piece. Workers estimated the piece weighed 150-200 pounds. No one was injured.
The building, built in 1914, last received exterior cleaning, waterproofing and repairs in the 1980s or 90s, according to Ray County Commissioner Allen Dale.
Dale stated attention would be focused on the east side of the courthouse where moisture has damaged the masonry behind the letters there. He said it had caused the spaulding to flake. He also said the repairs and cleaning would be mostly from the second floor railing area to the roof.
“We applied for a grant in 2007, but didn’t get it,” Dale said. “It’s taken a couple of years, but we’re excited to be able to move forward now.”
Photo: Workers in October made repairs to the outside of the Ray County Courthouse. More repairs are on the way. (Photo by Brenda Jensen/The Daily News)