It could be months before two Cobb Superior Court judges are back in their assigned courtrooms after a water pipe burst in the Marietta building last Tuesday, damaging floors, walls and ceilings.
Cleaning staff discovered the burst half-inch water pipe about 6 a.m. on Feb. 18, in a jury bathroom behind Judge Lark Ingram’s courtroom on the building’s sixth floor, court administrator Tom Charron told the MDJ.
“It was quite evident that the pipe had burst some hours before and probably had been leaking all night long,” Charron said. “There was standing water on the sixth floor and that leaked into the courtroom itself.”
Judge Robert Flournoy’s courtroom, on the fifth floor directly underneath Judge Ingram’s courtroom, was also damaged by water leaking from the ceiling and walls.
Both judges are continuing with cases as usual, in different courtrooms as they become available. Charron said the state, magistrate and juvenile court staff in the Cobb judicial campus have all been extremely accommodating and it’s not anticipated that the water damage will prevent any cases from continuing.
“The courtrooms (of judges Ingram and Flournoy) are going to be out of commission for quite some time, so the big challenge is finding courtroom space in the complex, but everyone’s been very cooperative, we’re doing a lot of juggling right now,” he said. “We’re hoping, all things considered and going well, they’ll be back in there some time in April. They’re not going to miss any court.”
Water leaked all the way from the sixth floor to the basement of the courthouse in some areas, Charron said, but the damage is contained to the southeast corner of the building.
Contractors have been working to reduce moisture and repair damage since last Tuesday, and were taking moisture readings inside three times a day.
“The fourth, fifth and sixth floors are the most extensively damaged,” Charron said, adding that at no time did the courthouse have to close.
It’s not known what caused the water pipe to break, Charron said.
The courthouse is owned and maintained by the county government, which will foot the bill associated with the water damage.