Scott County's 11 courtrooms will get facelifts after the board of supervisors approves bids of $109,236 for electrical wiring, painting, replacing carpet and ceiling tiles and asbestos removal at its meeting Thursday.

The board learned about the bids Tuesday at its committee-of-the-whole meeting.

The board already approved a bid of $60,152 for audiovisual equipment for courthouse's courtrooms. The total budget for the project is $175,000.

In presenting the three separate bids, Facilities and Support Services Director Dave Donovan said the work is needed.

"Having surveyed the courtrooms, they are in a sorry state," he said.

That state is why Scott County Attorney Mike Walton raised the renovation issue.

"The courtrooms are a lot of people's only exposure to county government, whether they are serving on a jury or involved in a lawsuit," he said.

Walton also recognized the need for improved technology in the courtroom with flat-screen televisions for showing evidence and ports for connecting laptops that contain evidence to present. Now, cords can often run across the courtroom floor, and projectors are brought in on carts.

"The law is becoming more technical, and these courtrooms aren't set up for the use of a laptop," the county attorney said. "I thought it was time for the county to catch up with technology."

The project is expected to take about six months, with work on each courtroom estimated to take two to three weeks, Donovan told the board.

Two large and two small third-floor courtrooms and one first-floor courtroom are at the top of the list for renovation. If problems are encountered, work on some courtrooms could be abandoned.

Construction is not expected to interfere with the court schedule, Assistant Court Administrator Kathy Gaylord said.

"The county is very proactive about meeting with us on any work that needs to be done," she said.

The asbestos abatement involves removing floor tile adhesive using a mild solvent and vacuuming up the remnants, Donovan said.

It won't involve sealing off areas of the building during removal.

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