September 10, 2011
By Melissa Winslow
On Friday afternoon, Sept. 9, 2011, the Nolan County Courthouse suffered some building damage. One marble slab — which covers the entire outside of the courthouse — approximately 10 feet by 5 feet, weighing about 2,000 pounds, fell off of the courthouse into the north entrance. Nolan County Sheriff David Warren and a deputy took a square foot chunk, weighed it, and calculated the weight based on the overall dimensions of the slab. The slab cracked a section of sidewalk and part of the planter closest to the doors at the courthouse. There were no injuries.
From another Sweeterwater Reporter story, on November 29, 2011:
Nolan County Commissioner Terry Willman also reported during Monday night's meeting that the county will be considering how best to repair damage to the outside of the courthouse. On Sept. 10, a granite panel fell onto the north entrance of the courthouse, causing damage to the sidewalk below and a granite planter. The panel and what was used to attach it had deteriorated and gave way. Upon closer examination to the courthouse's exterior, it was discovered that other panels had similar damage.
Willman said this led the commissioners to the decision that all the granite panels had to be removed and weatherproofed since the concrete wall of the building was not waterproofed when constructed in 1977. He said the cost of removal and weatherproofing will be about $900,000. He added that the courthouse was completed in 1977 at a rough cost of $3.4 million and was paid off in 1988. They have had engineers inspect the exterior following the damage, and it was determined the building was still structurally sound [,but, unfortunately, also still extremely ugly.]
Willman said the commission will now have to decide how best to repair the exterior and whether to put the granite back on or replace it with something else. [Perhaps mirrors, so you won't see the building.]