Ceiling Piece Falls At Bryan County Courthouse - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Ceiling Piece Falls At Bryan County Courthouse

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DURANT, OK -- It was an unexpected sight at the Bryan County Courthouse when something fell from the ceiling, causing concern among workers and visitors. Commissioners say condensation from an air conditioner that was left running caused the problem.

Commissioner Jay Perry says a piece of false ceiling crumbled and fell through a second tile ceiling. Some workers say they have had enough, but commissioners say they are going to correct the problem.

Surprised workers took pictures after a piece of the ceiling came crashing down. "It didn't cause any damage to the courthouse itself, other than the cement turning loose from the older ceiling and this is not the first time that's happened," says Commissioner Monty Montgomery.

No one was sitting in the two chairs outside the court clerk's office and courtroom when the piece of what Montgomery calls "lightweight cement" fell through the ceiling tile on Tuesday afternoon.

Just last year, they had the same problem due to a leaky air conditioner on the fourth floor where old records are kept.

"A new pump was placed back on it at that time and now that pump quit and so we have the same situation," says Montgomery.

Some workers say they have concerns about the overall safety of the building, which several offices including the county commissioners have recently moved out of. Commissioners say they are willing to discuss that, but first they want to get this problem fixed.

"If that were just a natural occurrence, but since it was obviously caused by a water leak that certainly can be stopped, I wouldn't be too concerned," says Montgomery.

Montgomery says workers will put a new door on the air conditioning unit to make sure the water drains to the roof properly. In the past, he has also noticed chunks of mortar fallen from the outside of the building.

Officials say it's up to commissioners or the State Fire Marshal's office to address any problems. "That's actually outside our jurisdictional authority. That would fall under the state or the county's jurisdiction," says Durant community development director Joseph Marquardt.

"Right now there's no funding obviously to build a new courthouse, which would be very expensive," says Montgomery.

Fire Chief Roger Joines says firefighters went Tuesday to spray the ceiling with water from their truck to test for any leaks. Montgomery says a repairman will be working on Wednesday evening and they hope to have everything fixed this week.