By Christina Calloway
A few offices located in the Roosevelt County Courthouse will be temporarily closed this week in preparation for a move to portable offices.
The county treasurer, assessor and clerk will close at noon today and Wednesday before being relocated to portables in the courthouse parking lot for about nine months while the 76-year-old courthouse’s HVAC system is replaced.
“As of (Monday) we are on schedule to move (Thursday and Friday) and conducting business in the portables on Monday,” said Roosevelt County Manager Charlene Webb.
Those offices will be closed all day on Thursday and Friday as employees shuffle their paperwork to the portable offices. The portables will be located on the north side of the courthouse, but the county manager’s office will remain open normal business hours during the construction.
The near $3 million project was expedited after the courthouse’s current HVAC system stopped working, prompting the county’s administration to declare its replacement an emergency as temperatures rose in the courthouse, making it difficult for employees.
The HVAC system was going to originally be repaired as a preventative measure after eight types of mold were discovered in the courthouse by a private lab consultant.
The cost of having the trailers in the parking lot for nine months is estimated at $400,000 to $500,000, according to the project manager for Williamson Renovations, Dennis Geshel.
Roosevelt County Assessor Kenner Carrasco said high temperatures Portales has experienced this summer made for unworkable conditions.
“It’s just too hot,” Carrasco said.
With his office being open from 8 a.m. to noon the next few days, he’s sent emails to abstract companies and other people who frequently use his office’s services to prepare them for the changes.
Carrasco said he’s felt out of the loop through this process and feels there wasn’t much communication from the county’s administration regarding the move.
“Personally I think it’s one individual that made all the decisions and not too many people were asked what’s best,” Carrasco said.