Poopy pipe cancels court in aged Georgia government building

June 19, 2021 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — A ruptured pipe in Columbus’ main government building dumped bird feces, leaves and other debris into a judge’s office.

Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Gil McBride tells WRBL-TV he found debris and water in his office suite earlier this month in Columbus Government Center. It holds offices and courtrooms for the consolidated Columbus and Muscogee County governments.

City Manager Isaiah Hugley says a 51-year-old cast iron pipe that carried rainwater from the roof ruptured.

McBride canceled hearings Wednesday and the rest of the week. He says he held hearings Tuesday in his 11th-floor courtroom, because they were too late to cancel.

The building flooded because of water leaks twice in 2018.

“And you sort of have a sense of being back to the future. You wonder what’s going on. Why it hasn’t been dealt with before? McBride asked. “Why three years later we are still being shut out of courtrooms and unable to use facilities because of the condition of the building?”


A neighboring state court courtroom was also affected.

Hugley said the city is testing air quality to make sure the building remains safe.

Columbus leaders say they plan to ask voters to approve a special sales tax in November to repair or replace the building.

“In any old structure, whether it’s an old building, an old house, or an old car, something is going to break if it’s 50 years old,” Hugley said. “And we have had a lot of breaks in this building. And that is why the elected officials are looking at other options for a judicial building and administrative officers.”