• James Robertson | Contributing Writer

Baldwin courthouse gets new clock tower

The Baldwin county courthouse will not be getting a new clock tower after the 1990s original needed to be removed due to water damage.

“I was told it was designed to leak, and the water was coming through the tower itself, and it was on roofing material, and that roofing material deteriorated, and the beams started rusting,” said Carlos Tobar, the Baldwin county manager. “In order to repair the roof, you have to take off the tower.”

Before the clock tower was removed, the county gave the public time to comment about how the clock tower should be removed or if the clock tower should be removed at all.

“We brought it up at the commissioner meeting,” Tobar said. “It was in the newspaper, we put it on Facebook, and the commissioners received some comments I received some comments, and I think overall the community was in favor.”.

As of right now, there are no plans to rebuild the clock tower due to the expense. However, some wish that there were plans to bring it back soon.

“I wish they had plans to rebuild it,” said junior Amanda Brennen, a music therapy major. “It’s beautiful architecture.”

In addition to the removal of the tower, the courthouse will receive other renovations, such as fixing the water damaged roof, repainting the exterior, fixing drywall and renovating the vestibule.

The renovations are estimated to cost $359,000. Tobar said the money comes from the county portion of the SPLOST tax.

“You pay for it when you go out to eat or go to Walmart and buy sheets for you bed or a new shirt,” Tobar explained. “It’s the county sales tax.”

The county had planned more renovations to the courthouse, however the costs of the removal prevented some of them.

“We originally were going to build the annex and then renovate the entire courthouse, but when I went up there and discovered that the tower was leaking and damaging the roof and causing more damage to other materials upstairs, I thought it was urgent at least to deal with the exterior,” Tobar said.

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