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Municipal building work yields recyclable materials


Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 5:33 PM
Last updated Monday, Aug 19, 2013 12:55 AM
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The renovation of Au­gusta’s Mu­nicipal Building is yielding “a significant amount” of recyclable material, but finding a buyer remains elusive, officials said.

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Augusta Deputy Finance Director Timothy E. Schroer sits among pink packing boxes Thursday morning and some of the many surplus courtroom benches to be sold off as the Municipal Building is renovated.   MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Augusta Deputy Finance Director Timothy E. Schroer sits among pink packing boxes Thursday morning and some of the many surplus courtroom benches to be sold off as the Municipal Building is renovated.

The relics include hundreds of red, green, brown and gray marble panels, some inscribed with quotes about justice, from the building’s three courtrooms; a dozen Murphy beds used by jurors when they were sequestered on site; 48 oak and maple courtroom benches, and an abundance of recyclable wood fixtures and metal, including three brass chandeliers, holding cells and a few wall safes.

The items and the terrazzo flooring throughout the building have to go as the nine-story “marble palace” is gutted, said Assistant Finance Di­rec­tor Tim Schroer, who is representing the city’s interests with project manager Heery International and general contractor Turner Construction on the $40 million renovation.

“It would be great if someone would come along and say, ‘I’ll take all of your pews; I’ll take the marble down,’” Schroer said, but no one has.

Ads on the government surplus auction site generated a handful of bids too low to accept, Schroer said.

The government is required to sell surplus materials, he said. With no takers thus far, the city opted to hire a writer to pen a glowing article for the online magazine

“Durable and naturally beautiful, these items can be easily salvaged, reclaimed and reused,” the article states.

Schroer reported no interest in the materials as of Friday.

The ease of removing the marble will likely determine the panels’ future, he said.

“If it comes off nicely in sheets, we’re going to take it off and store it” for later sale or use, he said.

Billed as the finest government building in the South­east when it opened in 1957 as a shared space for city and county offices and courts, the Municipal Building cost about $4.4 million after land acquisition and demolition of the Richmond County Courthouse was completed.

By 1971, its 90,000 square feet were deemed soon-to-be inadequate.

The building has never been renovated, though the courts moved to the Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Building in 2011.

Work is ongoing on the fourth and fifth floors. Its first, second and third floors, which include the courtrooms, are next.

If the city finds no use for the recyclable materials, they will go to Thompson Building and Wrecking, which Heery and Turner selected to perform the demolition work.

Hiram Thompson said his firm will do its best to find the materials a good home, but the market for the reuse of construction materials is not what it once was.

He said all metal is recycled, while the benches will be donated to a church – “preferably an inner-city church, or a small country church” – in need of pews.

“I’m not going to destroy the pews. Whatever happens, they are not going to be destroyed,” Thompson said.

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gargoyle 08/18/13 - 11:46 pm
I went to and

I went to and performed a search for 10 miles around 30901 for the past year , nothing came up that resembled anything about materials from the courthouse. Their search engine limited the search to one year. How hard are they trying or did I look to the wrong auction?

I'm Back Again
I'm Back Again 08/19/13 - 02:21 am
Just wondering...the article

Just wondering...the article says the items will be thrown away if they can't find a buyer. It also states that bids have been made, but were too low. And if no adequate bids were made the items would be thrown away. Whatever happened to "something is better than nothing".
So they're willing to take no money and throw items away, instead of accepting any offer and not throw it away.
Someone please help me find the logic, I just can't.

Cameron Poe
Cameron Poe 08/19/13 - 03:52 pm
Can we get an update to this

Can we get an update to this article about where to actually go and look for these items? None of them seem to show up on the website mentioned in the article.

Susan McCord
Susan McCord 08/19/13 - 04:19 pm
Where to find the items

Hi folks. The only information I've been provided about how to find out what is available was from the city's ghostwritten news release. It says to contact Tim Schroer at or (706) 821-1741 for a list. I wish I had more but that's it for now.

Susan McCord
Susan McCord 08/19/13 - 04:28 pm
Good news

OK I have just learned from Ron Crowden, the city's fleet manager who also runs the sales on that several of the items will be back up for auction on the site tomorrow.

gargoyle 08/19/13 - 06:54 pm
Spoke with someone who has

Spoke with someone who has used the site for years buying local government surplus and he doesn't recall seeing anything up for bid from the courthouse other than confiscated items ?

Discussionstarter 09/07/13 - 09:17 pm
Emailed Mr. Schroer when the article came out

Never got an email back! Looked at the auction site when the article came out.... no listing. Not sure what is going on. Disappointed.

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