Wednesday August 20, 2014

Court House undergoes rehab


Yorkton's Court of Queen's Bench is undergoing a $900,000 rehabilitation.

Richard Murray, acting deputy minister for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Central Services, explained that a routine inspection last year turned up cracks in the mortar of the foundation. A consultant determined there had been some water penetration necessitating the project although the foundation is stable, Murray said.

Work began last week to re-point the masonry, waterproof and insulate the foundation, add weeping tile to facilitate better drainage and replace the front steps.

The venerable 93-year old building was designated as a Provincial Heritage property in February 1988.

Its significance as a heritage site is, in part, due to being an example of the neoclassical Beaux-Arts architectural style. It was designed by the office of the provincial architect, a department of the government that existed between 1905 and the early 1930s.

"The heritage value of the Yorkton Court House also rests in it being a symbol of Yorkton's status as a pre-eminent community in the eastern portion of the province," the Order Designating as Provincial Heritage

Property stated.

Upgrades to heritage buildings, of course, necessitates care to preserve the integrity of the site.

"We work very closely with the heritage branch," Murray said. "That's very important to us."

The Heritage Conservation Branch of the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, is responsible for protecting Saskatchewan's built and archeological heritage.

The construction is being done by Regina contractor CCR Construction, which was the low-bidder. The company, according to its website specializes "in institutional, commercial and industrial projects. It has previously refurbished the courthouse in Weyburn.

There were no Yorkton-area bidders on the tender, but CCR is using local sub-trades in the construction.

Central Services expects the work will be done by late fall of this year.



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