THC approved up to $450,000 in matching funds for emergency repairs on the foundation that were not included within the scope of work as originally specified in the grant awarded to Karnes County in 2010.
In February of 2010, THC awarded Karnes County a $617,886 grant for two thirds of the costs of the Phase 1 courthouse restoration project. The county agreed to contribute one third in matching funds toward the restoration project, amounting to $308,943.
Karnes County Historical Commission members Truett Lee Hunt, Maggie Hunt and Karnes County Courthouse Phase 1 Restoration Project Liaison Lorraine Dailey appeared before the THC committee on behalf of Karnes County at meeting in Austin.
“It is very good news,” said Karnes County Historical Commission President Truett Lee Hunt regarding the decision from the THC. “One of the reasons the THC looked favorably on the request was because they are pleased with the progress that we have made so far. They are pleased with the way the current team is working together.”
“After we got into the work, we decided the foundation needed to be stabilized throughout the building sooner than we had planned to do it in the regular scope of work,” Hunt said.
On May 31, Commissioners Court voted to hire Architect Graham Luhm to assess the building’s foundation because of concerns Dailey expressed about cracks in the walls and her concern that whatever foundation issues might exist, should be addressed first in order to prevent possible damage to the finishes planned as part of the project.
Hunt said that if the foundation work moves forward as is hoped, the building will be in very good shape to move forward with a Phase 2 full restoration project if awarded grant funding during the next cycle of the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.
Applications for grant funding through the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program in the next cycle will likely be due at the end of 2013.
Grant awards for the next round are expected to be announced in January of 2014.