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Courthouse dome could be placed this spring

T-R PHOTO BY LANA BRADSTREAM
The Marshall County Courthouse dome still sits on the ground as shown Saturday.

Work continues on the Marshall County Courthouse dome and it is difficult to determine when the government building will finally get its iconic feature back.

Buildings and grounds director Lucas Baedke said the plan is to place the dome on top of the building sometime in early April or before.

“It all depends on how much the weather cooperates,” he said.

The temperatures and the humidity need to be right for certain procedures to take place. One of those procedures is water proofing. Baedke said the temperature needs to be higher than 25 degrees and the dew point needs to be at a certain level and rising before the water proofing can occur.

The cold front that pushed through Marshalltown on Thursday and Friday did not allow for work to occur outside. However, Baedke said there was plenty of work performed inside.

“It is going to happen, but we want to make sure that things are done right,” he said.

The desire to do everything correctly has created a setback.

Baedke said the crew is in the process of placing screen panels on the dome. The original plan was to measure one side of the dome, make a panel and then use it as a template for the remaining sides.

“We were going to make a template of it,” Baedke said. “But we saw enough of a variance in the sides that we were worried it would not fit.”

So each side had to get measured and separate panels placed.

“Panels are physically going on and taken back off,” he said.

Baedke also said that everyone is trying to do as much of the work as possible while the dome is on the ground, instead of 130 feet above it.

“There is a safety aspect as well,” he said.

Baedke knows that a lot of Marshalltownians are anxious to see the dome at its apex of the Marshall County Courthouse.

“I know everyone wants to see the centerpiece of Marshalltown back to the way it was,” he said. “We are trying to do everything right and get this right for everybody in the future. We want this to last another 130 years and that takes time.”

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