Cumberland Times-News

December 19, 2013

Dome put back atop Hampshire courthouse

MARLA PISCIOTTA
Cumberland Times-News

— ROMNEY, W.Va. — A replica of the 92-year-old dome and cupola that sat on top of the Hampshire County Courthouse is being installed.

Workers from Harbel Construction of Cumberland removed the original dome in the spring and began installing the replica Thursday.

“We are erecting the steel work and the exterior skin panels first, and then the exterior panels for the finish outside the cupola,” Carroll Poland, foreman, said Thursday morning.

Poland said many of the parts would be attached Thursday and hopefully the dome would be finished the next day.

“I hope the whole thing will be up by Friday evening,” Poland said.

The railing that is to be installed around the outside of the cupola will be installed Monday.

The replica was originally scheduled to be completed in August.

“We had some problems basically with building the replica without plans,” Patty Davis, chair of the Hampshire County Building Committee, said Thursday.

Davis said the old structure, which was sent to Campbellsville Industries in Kentucky to be replicated, was literally falling apart.

“There is really nothing left of it after this replication,” Davis said.

The original bell that hung in the dome was saved for the bottom portion of the cupola.

The replica arrived in Hampshire County on Wednesday on three flatbed tractor-trailers and was stored at Romney Cycle in the Romney Business Park.

Kevin Carr, owner of Romney Cycle, said, “I’m glad I could help out in a situation like this.

“When the trailers first came my workers thought I was holding some sort of amusement ride event. I had to explain to them and the customers what was going on.”

Carr said he was glad that Davis asked for his help.

The old dome was taken down by crane in two sections. The first section weighed 3,500 pounds and the second one weighed 9,000 pounds.

The areas of the dome that designated north, south, east and west have been replaced with clocks that were part of the original design.

The baluster surrounding the dome will be lighted after dark.

The cost of the project is $301,940, part of which came from the state’s courthouse facilities improvement funding. Other monies have come from grants.

“I know Santa Claus couldn’t fit this in his sleigh so he brought it on three tractor-trailers,” Davis said while watching the workmen on the courthouse roof.

Davis said the building committee will do a punch list Dec. 27 to make sure everything on the project is OK.

“I’m excited we have the dome back on our courthouse,” Davis said.

Contact Marla Pisciotta at marlapisciotta@frontier.com.