Project Description

Otter Tail County Courthouse & Detention Center

Fergus Falls, Minnesota

David Shultz has led the facility planning and improvements for Otter Tail County since 1994. Work at the courthouse has included comprehensive facility analysis, systems upgrades, remodeling, adaptive reuse of a 1948 geriatrics facility to serve County offices and new building construction. The historic 1921 Buechner and Orth Courthouse is a classic example of early 20th century justice architecture.

In 1998, Shultz remodeled the first floor, retaining and restoring the historic public corridors while discretely integrating modern HVAC, power and data systems. Planning for the Courthouse was updated in 2010, setting the stage for a similar remodeling of second floor, including the rotunda, and historically-appropriate replacement of 1970’s aluminum windows, and a project for Courts remodeling on the third floor. The total project cost was $9.8M in two phases for work including roughly 100,000 square feet.

Improvements to the Courthouse under Phase 1 of the project included reroofing, rotunda skylight replacement, limestone and brick tuck-pointing and caulking, boiler replacement, re-windowing, and extensive interior remodeling.  The project was part of a substantial master plan implementation including interior remodeling work and infrastructure improvements and a new addition.

Phase 2 of renovations at the Otter Tail County Courthouse and Detention Center complex was completed in 2015. Work included replacement of the original 1985 EPDM roof which was exhibiting the classic failures of ballasted membrane systems including perimeter bridging and deterioration around equipment. A new adhered TPO membrane roof has replaced the existing roof.

The exterior masonry wall of the facility was exhibiting premature failure at locations where glazed-face masonry was incorporated into the facade. Improper weeping of the cavitywall is resulting in moisture build-up in the CMU, causing it to crumble behind the glazed faces. Systematic removal and replacement of the glazed-face units was undertaken, along with remedial tuck-pointing of all of the deteriorated brick joints.

Completion Date: 2015