County-City Building gets a year-round tan

The first phase of a $1 million exterior resurfacing of the County-City Building is nearing completion.

The project is aimed at both protecting the 43-year-old building’s outside walls and improving its appearance.

The building’s gray exterior will give way to tan.

A protective plastic enclosure was removed this week revealing the new color scheme on the court wing’s south (facing 11th Street) and west exterior walls.

The $145,000 first phase also includes resurfacing the lower wall portions of the tower adjacent to the first- and second-floor entrances.

The enclosure protected the newly surfaced walls from the weather during the curing process.

“All concrete surfaces of the entire building will eventually be done. We have funds to do the tower this year in Phase 2, and will be requesting 2003 funds to work on the north wing in Phase 3,” said Scott Hogman, who manages the county’s construction projects.

“The project may take a fourth year depending on cost, funding and progress.”

The work involves installing a cement plaster (stucco) system on the building’s concrete walls.

The cement plaster is coated with a colored acrylic topcoat with a “sand” finish, which is anticipated to be both attractive and durable.

This system was chosen over conventional paint coatings because the existing paint coating contains a small amount of asbestos fibers and removing the coating and recoating the building with paint would have been more costly than encapsulating the asbestos beneath the cement plaster finish system.

The new surface consists of a light tan body color with rose and darker tan accent colors.

The accent colors will be used around the window openings and along the top of the walls.

Approved by voters in Nov. 1952 (a previous ballot measure in 1950 was rejected by voters), the 11-story County-City Building opened in 1959 to rave reviews.

Two other phases are planned over the next two years to complete the building’s resurfacing.