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New London courthouse undergoing renovations while it's closed to the public

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The state courthouse on Broad Street, known as Georgraphical Area 10, is undergoing interior and exterior renovations while it remains closed to the public during the coronavirus pandemic.

The roof is being replaced, at a cost of around $1.09 million, and the carpeting in the clerk's office has been replaced, for around $2,200, according to Patrick O'Brien, director of facilities for the state Judicial Branch.

The roof project was necessary beause loose tiles had started to create leaks within the building, said Elizabeth Graham, executive director of administrative services for the Judicial Branch. The branch routinely maintains its properties, and the project would have been planned a year ago, or more.

"Right now, the courthouse is not open, but it doesn't have any bearing on future use," Graham said during a phone interview earlier this month. "We need to make sure all our bulildings are available. We're fortunate to be able to do the work at this time."

The carpeting in the clerk's office was more than 20 years old and could have posed a safety hazard. The branch hired a company to remove asbestos. The contractor obtained the proper permits and filed them with the state Department of Public Health and Environmental Protection Agency. The area was sealed off while the asbestos, a hazardous material, was removed, and the air quality monitored for safety during and after the work.

The cost of the abestos abatement work was not available.

The courthouse closed in March, and its staff has been working out of the Judicial District Courthouse at 70 Huntington St. during the pandemic.

Built in 1891, the Romanesque-style building housed the Williams Memorial Institute, an all-girls high school, until 1954, when the school moved to the Connecticut College campus.

The state leased the building for 25 years beginning in 1972 and purchased it in 1997.

k.florin@theday.com

Editor's Note: This edition corrects a spelling error in the headline.

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