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2.23.22 Fairfield Cnty Historic Courthouse_web photos 01.jpg


Fairfield County


Winnsboro, SC


Commercial / Government

Historic Renovation





Fairfield County
Historic Courthouse Renovation

In February of 2020, GMK Associates was retained by Fairfield County to provide professional architectural services for the design, bidding, construction observation, and construction administration for desired renovations to the County’s historic Courthouse building. The Fairfield County Courthouse is one of the most iconic symbols of Fairfield County. Built in 1822, the Courthouse is located in downtown Winnsboro across the street from the Town Clock and is designed in Greek Revival Style. The design for the Courthouse was originally developed by English architect William Jay (c. 1794-1837), but was revised by renowned South Carolina architect Robert Mills (1781-1855) prior to completed construction.

The purpose of this project is to complete renovations to the Courthouse that meet the modern program needs of the County, address current building code standards and requirements, and conform to historic renovation guidelines in coordination with the South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). GMK is completing the project is two stages as follows.

Step 1 – Facility Conditions Assessment, Programming and Scope of Work Development

The first stage consisted of an Historic Courthouse Renovation Study that details the results of a complete existing facility assessment, covers various programming needs as defined by the County, and offers recommendations related to the full design scope of work for the renovation activities. To complete this study, GMK architects and engineers worked with County stakeholders to conduct a needs assessment and developed the programming needs for the building, including the anticipated occupancy and use of the building. GMK further developed various recommendations for life safety system upgrades, ADA improvements, and existing system renovations (structural, roofing, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire alarm, security, etc.).

This study included performing a building envelope assessment and preliminary structural evaluation in the areas of the building included in the scope of work. A key recommendation of the study is to design and construct a two-story addition at the rear of the building to accommodate needed ADA-compliant public restrooms for the first floor, a new single ADA-accessible secure entrance for the public, and additional space for anticipated growth of County services. Furthermore, GMK recommends replacing the existing elevator with new ADA-complaint elevator either in the existing hoistway or as part of an addition.

Step 2 – Final drawings, Specifications, Bidding Services and Construction Administration Services

Upon completion of Step 1, Fairfield County set an appropriate budget for construction of the improvements based on the findings. GMK is currently providing architectural and engineering designs for the desired renovations and upgrades, and ultimately will complete the project using the design-build construction methodology.

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