An 18th-century farmhouse that sits on the campus of York County Prison is not in distress, nor is it the subject of "demolition by neglect," according to an inspection report prepared by engineering firm C.S. Davidson.
It does need a new roof, however, which is expected to cost the county about $30,000.
One of the county's oldest buildings, the 1740 Strickler House became a topic of interest after area residents and descendants of the farmer who built the house told county commissioners they were concerned the historic structure was being neglected.
County taxpayers own the house, which came with a 1943 purchase of land on which the county later built the prison.
Commissioners ordered an inspection of the building, on Concord Road in Springettsbury Township, in which federal immigration officers formerly had offices.
County Engineer John Klinedinst reported Wednesday that the building is structurally sound and still in "an acceptable state" to be occupied if there comes a use for it. He recommended the county continue with its regular schedule of maintenance, which he said included inspections as recently as 2011 and 2009.
The home isn't without signs of age, though, he said. A second-story balcony is not structurally sound, but it has been blocked from use. The roof isn't leaking, but it will need to be repaired this year and replaced in either 2014 or 2015, he said.
The repairs this year will cost less than $10,000, but the new roof is estimated at about $30,000, Klinedinst said.
He said that work will include replacement of some exposed wood trim, such as dormers and window frames, that have visible signs of rot.
Jane Heller, a Springettsbury Township resident who spearheaded an awareness campaign about the building, said Thursday she was disappointed the county is "fending this off."
"What are they going to repair?" she asked. "All of the roof needs repaired. The whole roof is in poor condition."
She said she doubted the thoroughness of the engineer's investigation and thinks the county is neglecting the building to save money.
The 73-year-old Heller said she doesn't think total roof replacement can wait, and she's trying to gather donations from builder Ulrich Strickler's descendants so the work can be done sooner.
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