Dawes County Courthouse Addition and Renovations

Chadron, Nebraska

Geary Engineering, Inc. provided the mechanical and electrical engineering services for the renovations to the existing Courthouse for Dawes County.  The existing systems were obsolete and had reached the end of the expected service life.  The existing cooling system was supplemented with window air conditioners.  The electrical system still had the original fuse boxes that were installed in 1935.

The existing hot water heating and gas fired air-conditioning system was replaced with a state of the art, geothermal heat pump system.  The boiler, gas air conditioners, piping and fan coil units were removed.  A total of 64 geothermal wells were designed to provide the heat transfer to the earth.  There are 26 horizontal and console type heat pumps located throughout the existing Courthouse.  New heat pumps were installed above the lay-in ceilings of the county offices to provide a clean looking installation and to provide air distribution through the ceiling space.

The electrical system in the Courthouse was obsolete and did not have the capacity to serve the modern office environment.  A new electrical service was installed with all new wiring throughout the Courthouse.  The new electrical system included new lighting, receptacles and distribution panelboards.  The new receptacles and data wiring systems were incorporated into a perimeter wiring system in the existing offices.

Fire and life safety improvements included a new fire sprinkler system to provide 100% coverage throughout the building.  A new ADA compliant fire alarm system was installed to serve the existing Courthouse.  Emergency lighting and exit lighting were also added throughout the Courthouse.

New data and telephone wires were installed throughout the Courthouse to centralize the communications equipment to a new data closet in the existing boiler room.  The new wire management plan allows for easy maintenance of the communications systems and provides flexibility for the future.

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