I-Team investigates the cost of courthouse repairs in Durham

Durham county clerks displaced by recent water damage at the Justice Center are looking forward to the holidays. That's because much needed repairs to their offices should be completed by December, according a county spokesperson.

The county has received an estimate of the damage and repairs should take 6 to 8 weeks. It's been three weeks since a cap on a waterline came loose inside the building. The water flooded four floors, causing significant damage that forced the courthouse to close and clerks to work overtime salvaging files.

Hundreds of estate files were drenched in water. Court officials say the delicate records were preserved through a freezing process that cost the county $22,798.

The Justice Center is no longer under warranty because it expired after a year, but the building is insured. After the county pays its $25,000 deductible, crews will make repairs estimated at $155,600.

The building opened in 2013 and has earned the second highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for its use of recyclable materials and water and energy efficient technology. It's also experienced a few maintenance mishaps.

Last July, one of three bolts holding a 42" letter on the building's front entrance came loose. In early September, fire crews and medical personnel rushed to the building after reports of smoke in the building. More than a week later, the cap on the waterline came loose.

ABC11 contacted the Durham County Clerk of Superior Court for comment but our calls and e-mail messages were not returned.

A county spokesperson answered questions about the estimated cost and timeline for repairs, but declined our request for an interview about the structural integrity of the building and whether there are any concerns for future mechanical problems.

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