MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Mobile City Council is set to discuss a resolution, to spend $77,400 for window repairs at the History Museum of Mobile.
FOX10 News did some digging and asked museum officials for transparency on why the repairs were needed for that dollar amount. The resolution is sponsored by Mayor Sam Jones and Council Member William Carroll.
Museum Curator Jacob Laurence said, "The windows actually have not been repaired since the 1990's, the early 1990s, and before that, 1935."
Laurence said the plan is to fix 90 windows; not just for beauty, but also for liability.
He said, "We have a falling glass hazard if we don't. About two years ago, basically, somebody came forward and said, 'Hey, you need to be aware that your glazing is at the point that, if somebody is not careful, they're going to have a piece of glass on their head.'"
Laurence showed us the glazing what he was talking about on a bottom-floor window. He said there are 90 windows just like the one he showed us, some two-stories high.
Laurence said, "See that? When we get around to the south side of it, you have full expanses that are gone. That's what holds this piece of glass in it."
At first glance, the substance he mentions looks like paint.
Laurence said, "No, that is the adhesive that holds this piece of glass to this wood and this wood."
He added, "Without that there, and imagine up on the second story, that comes careening down. That's going to end up in somebody's head. They're going to end up in the hospital. There are going to be children hurt, adults hurt, somebody is going to end up getting hurt if we don't repair this now."
Laurence said the money will also be used to repair the iron grates that cover some of the windows on the bottom floor.
Work for city employees
Laurence said the museum used to have a contract to hire outside labor, but is now using city employees.
He said, "We were sending that money out to a private contractor that was providing a service to the city. Now, the city employees are the ones that are taking on the responsibilities that were provided by those contracts, so that we can take the money and put it into a project like this, which is a repair project, which means that you don't have a safety issue."
When I asked if that saves money overall, Laurence said, "It does. Over the past three years, we have taken basically almost half a million dollars, and have repaired Fort Conde, (and) are now getting ready to repair this building."
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