Marshall County Courthouse — A recovery timeline

The Marshall County Courthouse has been through a lot of changes since it was first built in the 1880s

The biggest challenge came in the form of the 2018 tornado, which wreaked havoc on the structure.

Here’s a timeline of the courthouse recovery process thus far:

• 4:30 p.m. July 19, 2018: A tornado with a peak wind speed of 144 mph rips a path through downtown Marshalltown, damaging the courthouse spire and clocktower area.

• Late afternoon and evening, July 19, 2018: The courthouse suffers from severe water damage because the sprinkler system could not be immediately shut off.

• July 20, 2018: Officials announce the courthouse is closed due to storm damage.

• Week of July 23, 2018: Various county and state offices previously housed in the courthouse begin to come back online in new locations. Civil courts move to Story County and criminal court functions go to the Marshall County Courthouse. The county supervisors hold their regular meeting at the Marshall County Engineer’s office.

• Aug. 25, 2018: County officials announce damage to the courthouse in excess of $15.5 million.

• Sept. 18, 2018: The county supervisors announce plans to make improvements to the courthouse beyond the insurance-funded fixes due to tornado damage.

• Oct. 2, 2018: The Marshalltown High School Class of 1969 announces plans to donate up to 30 trees to the courthouse property to replace trees.

• Dec. 15, 2018: County officials predict a July 19, 2019 completion of the courthouse repairs, but increase the cost estimate from $15.5 million to about $20.5 million.

• Jan. 8: Official planning for the new courthouse layout led by OPN Architects Inc. is approved by the supervisors.

• Jan. 27: Officials share a rough draft of the new layout of the courthouse’s five floors.

• Feb. 1: County officials announce the original target of a July 19 courthouse repair completion has been pushed back to the fall.

• March 20: County and state judicial officials disagree on courthouse layout plans. No final decision is made on the layout at the meeting.

• May 1: The county courthouse dome is scheduled for removal later in May.

• May 13: The dome of the Marshall County Courthouse is removed by a giant crane. A watertight replacement roof is installed and set to stay in place until a new dome is constructed and put atop the building.

• June 26: County officials again meet to discuss the new layout of the courthouse. Most recent estimates from county officials have the tornado-related courthouse repairs totaling about $30 million. The estimated date of completion is in the spring of 2020.

• Oct. 29: Buildings and Grounds director Lucas Baedke estimates dome and spire will be installed in November.


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