Saturday, March 28, 2015

Foster County ND "HIGH"-LIGHTS: Repairing the Very Top of the Courthouse Dome

We need to thank Foster County's new custodian, Russ Heidt, for discovering some serious damage that needed to be repaired at the very top of our Courthouse dome.  The large gold sphere had a hole in its top big enough for pigeons to enter and nest in the actual dome-area below it.  In fact, before repairing the dome, Russ spent the previous week cleaning out many years' worth of pigeon droppings and dead/decomposing pigeon bodies, and accessing the amount of water/dry-rot damage to the interior.

In the video, you will see Russ at the top of the courthouse where he waited to help direct Leo Straley in making repairs to the sphere.  Down below, you can see Leo giving Scherbenske's crane operator some last-minute directions before climbing into the basket for his upward trip. 
By the way, not just any person would attempt such an acrobatic repair at such impressive heights!   Not only was Leo willing to hang above the Courthouse dome, but he also possessed all the intricate skills necessary to do an excellent job. 

In case you don't know, Leo is a very exceptional, experienced metal-fabricator who owns a local standing-seam metal roofing business.  When asked if he had done any other jobs comparable to this one... which seemed terribly precarious to onlookers... Leo said with a smile that he had actually  worked on a very tall church steeple where he "feared for his life."  Compared to that, this job he said "was a cinch."  He actually enjoyed it!

At the end of the video, you will see our Foster County Commission chairman, Bill Bauer, walking over to congratulate Leo on a successful trip and confer with him about his findings.  Other onlookers waited to say hi to Leo and ask about his experience at the top of the Courthouse.  One onlooker in particular had a big smile on his face... Leo's dad.  He had watched the whole event from beginning to end, and  from the expression on his face, you could tell that he was very proud of his son. 
So, here's a big THANK YOU, to Russ Heidt for discovering the damage and cleaning up the Courthouse dome... to Leo Straley for braving the elements to repair the hole at the top of the world... and to Bill Bauer and the Foster County Commission for being good caretakers of our beautiful Courthouse... so the community can enjoy it for many, many years to come.

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