Repainting Courthouse

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Dion Markin, the owner of Elite Painting of Prairie du Chien, strips paint from the ceiling of the main courtroom in the Crawford County Courthouse. Dion’s son, Devin Markin, applies tape to the edge of the main doorway.


Courthouse ceiling being repainted

By Ted Pennekamp


Elite Painting of Prairie du Chien has been hired by Crawford County to repaint the courthouse ceiling which has been peeling and dropping paint since the $2.081 million courthouse renovation project was completed in November of 2013.

The repainting project is expected to be completed in about three weeks to a month, said Dion Markin, the owner of Elite Painting. Elite Painting began working in the courthouse on March 1. Markin said that he and his son Devin will remove all of the old paint and then re-prime and repaint the entire ceiling. 

The paint on the courthouse ceiling has been falling off in chunks exposing the bare metal. Markin speculated that better air conditioning and air circulation in the courtroom as a result of the renovation project may have something to do with the peeling paint problem. He said that the new acrylic paint was painted over the old oil-based paint. Markin said that because the old oil-based paint doesn’t expand or contract, it cracks, peels and falls off.

John Poots, the head of maintenance, said the courtroom now has forced air, increased air circulation near the ceiling and increased insulation. Before the renovation, the courtroom was heated with radiators and cooled with window air conditioners. He said the air temperature was probably significantly higher near the ceiling before the renovation. The ceilings on the first floor and the other rooms in the courthouse building were all painted with the same paint but have had no problem, said Poots.

The repainting project will cost approximately $12,000. Poots said that several months ago bids were let out for the repainting project but they were all rejected by the county because they were deemed too high. The lowest bid was $60,000, he said.

Crawford County has been in dispute over the peeling paint with the general contractor for the courthouse renovation project since the problem was first discovered. Olympic Builders of Holmen was the general contractor and has denied any wrong doing. Poots said that when the repainting is completed, the matter will be referred to the Crawford County Attorney as to how to proceed.

While the ceiling in the main courtroom is being repainted, trials and other court proceedings will take place in the first floor courtroom.

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