Commissioners step into choice to beautify courthouse

Commissioners step into choice to beautify courthouse

Image Credit: Dave Mast

Following MidState Contractors Inc.’s finishing touches on reconstructing all three of the Holmes County Courthouse’s outside stairs, the Holmes County commissioners were faced with one final decision that will put the wraps on this portion of revitalizing the courthouse.

The concrete stairs needed painting, and in order to find the most desirable color to paint the stairs, the commissioners turned to several professionals.

Sheila Miller, interior decorator and owner of Alive by Design LLC, provided her expertise and helped narrow down the decision to two main colors after possibilities were presented by Superior Flooring in Winesburg, which will do the painting of the stairs.

On Thursday, July 7, the Holmes County commissioners took the advice of Miller and some other county employees and made their decision, choosing a darker tan color over a lighter, whiter, more natural color.

Superior Flooring painted several steps on the west-side stairs, allowing people to get a better understanding of what the colors will look like once the choice is made.

“It’s amazing after you see it on the steps, how different it looks,” commissioner Dave Hall said.

“The darker color definitely blends in with the pillars more, although both colors would look really good,” Miller said. “The color that was picked will really blend in with the building more because the stone has those colors in it.”

That came into play because the darker shade actually blends in nicer and is less noticeable when someone looks at the courthouse. Commissioner Joe Miller said that was important because the stairs shouldn’t be what stands out.

“What is it we want people to see when they come to view the courthouse?” Joe Miller said. “It’s not the stairs; it is the clocktower. I think it is important that we match the stone and not the sidewalk because the courthouse is the drawing card and that is what we want people to see and enjoy.”

Initially, Superior Flooring brought an entire array of colors from which the commissioners could choose. Narrowing the options down to two wasn’t even an easy task, but the commissioners said they wanted something that looked natural that didn’t overpower the appeal of the courthouse. As an interior designer, Sheila Miller worked closely with a group to narrow down the field of choices.

“Either choice has its benefits that are appealing, so there is no right or wrong. It comes down to a matter of taste and what they are looking to accomplish with the building,” she said. “The whiter of the two actually looks like it is maybe concrete that has just been power washed. The darker tan color has a softer, older look to it that will pop out a little but doesn’t overpower the building because it blends in so nice.”

Miller said the whiter of the two paints looked new, and the tan color looks older, something else she said matches the courthouse well.

Tim Morris, Holmes County director of buildings and grounds and solid waste management, said removing the dark chocolate brown color that had existed for many years and replacing it with a softer, cleaner look will definitely make the courthouse look better.

Once the commissioners made the call on the tan color, Morris made the call to Superior Flooring to notify them, setting the next phase of the painting process in motion.

The cost of the project is $22,000 to complete all three staircases, a cost which included grinding, sanding, painting and finishing the steps. Once complete, the commissioners believe the courthouse will achieve an even more stunning appeal as one of the county’s biggest tourism sites to visit.

While there is no exact time table set for the completion of the job, the commissioners are hoping to have the painting project completed by the time the Holmes County Antique Festival arrives in early October.