The past few weeks have had many residents in Dawson County in full fret mode as they have driven through downtown Dawsonville and seen the Historic Courthouse on the square being painted a shocking shade of white.
Calls have been pouring in seeking answers, according to county officials, who say there is no cause for concern, as the white is a primer for the red color that will cover the brick facade.
"The Historic Courthouse is being preserved and restored," said County Manager Randy Dowling. "It is a meticulous process that involves multiple steps, including a primer, which appears white.
"Please note that it will not remain white. The end result will be a red color."
Built in 1860, the building, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, is considered to be the state's oldest working courthouse.
While court is no longer conducted at the structure, the building houses several government offices, including the Dawson County Historical Society and the county's public defender's office.
"Today, 156 years after it first opened, the courthouse exterior is due some much needed attention," Dowling said. "The Dawson County Board of Commissioners is committed to preserving the rich history of the historic courthouse, and in doing so, has contracted with companies that specialize in historic building preservation."
Metro Water Proofing, Inc. will use a silicone elastomeric coating to seal the exterior, followed by paint, according to Dowling.
"This unique process will help preserve the life of the building," he said.
Additionally, the courthouse windows, which were fully deteriorated and unrepairable, were also replaced.
Work on the Historic Courthouse, which is expected to cost $150,000 and will be fully funded by 1-cent sales tax revenue, is scheduled to be completed by July 2016.
"The Dawson County Board of Commissioners is proud of the past that it represents and its legacy to future generations," Dowling said.