September 26, 2010 § 1 Comment

The renovated “old courtroom” upstairs in the Clarke County Courthouse was dedicated today in a program attended by Clarke Countians and elected officials.

This is what the official program said about the renovation:

“Clarke County’s present Court  House was constructed in the heart of the county seat in 1912.  Nearly 60 years later, in 1969, the courtroom was remodeled, closing in the full-length windows on the east and west walls, and covering the balcony by the addition of a suspended Celotex ceiling.  This provided a location for the large boiler system to heat and cool the building, since the third floor offices were no longer in use, except for use as storage space.

“By the year 2000, county officials discovered the availability of federal and state grants to be used for improvements to government buildings.  Through grants provided by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Historic Preservation Division of the “Save America’s Treasures” Act, work was begun to restore our historic 1912-era courtroom to its original grandeur.

“In 2008, Supervisor Tony Fleming organized the demolition process, using county employees and inmates from the Clarke County jail, to gut the area so that accurate blueprints could be produced.  By January of 2009, local architect David Henderson of AEDD Plus and contractor BP Roofing and Construction of Laurel, Mississippi, had begin work.

“Since all historic structures are required to adhere as closely as practicable to the original design, every effort was made to replicate the original handiwork.  Most of the flooring is original to the building, as are the large ceiling beams.  The metal ceiling panels are exact duplicates of those used in the original construction.

“Today we proudly present our newly-restored courtroom to the people of Clarke County.  Let us remember to be grateful for the foresight of our county officials in providing a stately and securebuilding in which to conduct our county’s business.” 

My previous post about the renovation is here.

Photos from the program:

The crowd gathers for the program

Board of Supervisors President Arthur Nelson chairs the program

Circuit Clerk Beth Doggett recognizes the judges and elected officials

L to R, Chancellor Primeaux, Circuit Judge Bailey, retired Ciruit Judge Williamson, Circuit Judge Williamson, retired Chancellor Warner

L to R, Dist. 4 Supervisor Paul Mosley, Sheriff Todd Kemp, Dist. 2 Supervisor Cleveland Peebles, Dist. 3 Supervisor Willie Roberson, Dist 5 Supervisor Tony Fleming, and Dist 1 Supervisor and Board President Arthur Nelson

Chancery Clerk Angie Chisholm hosts the reception refreshments downstairs

Father and son: Circuit Judge Lester F. WIlliamson, Jr. on the left and retired Circuit Judge Lester F. Williamson, Sr. on the right

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