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Courthouse elevator replacement

The St. Francois County Courthouse elevator is in the process of being replaced. While the project was originally supposed to take three weeks to complete, there is a chance it will be finished in just two.

The elevator at the St. Francois County Courthouse is now in the process of replacement and the work may take less time than originally thought.

Presiding Commissioner Harold Gallaher gave an update on the process Tuesday, explaining how extensive the work was going to be and how long it would take.

“The courthouse elevator was shut down Monday," he said. "We notified all the judges for the past few weeks. We are updating the elevator to a complete new system. They’re going to replace the car, electronics — basically the whole system.

“The work is scheduled to be completed within three weeks, however, they’ve already scheduled the state inspectors to come in on May 28 — which leaves them only two weeks to finish it — so, they’re pretty sure that they can get it done in two weeks.”

While Tuesday was only the second day of the installation, Gallaher said that everything was going well and on schedule. He added that, with trials being conducted at the same time that the installation work is in progress, workers may sometimes have to alter their work schedule to accommodate the judges' caseload.

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“We have to be very careful about any noises that are generated during trials,” he said. “The judges are very sensitive to anything that would distract the jurors and the people during the trial that could have a bearing on the trial itself.

"They will send word out by the bailiff if there’s too much noise and then we have to move away from that and do something quieter. They are encountering that aspect of the work.”

Gallaher explained why the county made the decision recently to replace the elevator at this time rather than wait until later.

“The computer technology on that elevator was old,” he said. “A year or two ago when we had a lightning burnout of the motherboard, we were down for some time with no elevator which removed our ADA compliance. That motherboard was no longer being made and had to be specially made for this unit. Now with the upgrades, we will have more easily replaceable equipment.”

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Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at mmarberry@farmingtonpressonline.com.

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