Local News

Chatham commissioners vote on courthouse layout, uses

Posted November 2, 2010

— The Chatham County Board of Commissioners voted on recommendations Monday for the future layout and use of the rebuilt courthouse, more than seven months after a fire gutted the historic judicial center.

The second floor will again include a courtroom, and the structure’s interior will retain the historic appearance and character it had before the fire, according to the county's press release.

The second floor will have offices for court staff, and the restored courtroom will provide some additional flexibility to accommodate other types of public events.

The first floor will include one or more historic museums, a visitor’s center and accessible public restrooms.

“The vote also affirmed that it is important for the building to look much like it did before, but it is critical to include updated lighting, sound, audio-visual equipment and other technology so that the building is more user-friendly for public events and more efficient for those who work in the courthouse,” said Commissioner Chair Sally Kost.

The motion included the commissioners’ intent for the second floor courtroom to be used for lower level security cases.

“This is an important point given the approved uses on the first floor that will attract more public visitors,” said Vice Chair George Lucier. “Court officials have graciously agreed to work with us on court scheduling to address this issue.”


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  • wildcat Nov 3, 2010

    I am a democrat and voted for all 3 new commissioners. No way was I voting for the old commissioners. They have done nothing for the county and not even trying to bring in jobs. I guess they never thought about the unemployed. Congratulations to the NEW 3 COMMISSIONERS.

  • wildcat Nov 3, 2010

    We now in Chatham Couny have 3 new commissioners. WOW! That is great and congratulations is in order. May they all make the right decisions in their meetings for the well fare of the Chatham County people. The old commissioners is no longer commissioners. I am thankful for that.

  • WHEEL Nov 2, 2010

    "ocvff" I have a pretty good clue, thats why I made the comment I did. As for "thank goodnesss there is some left", it will cost more to incorporate whats left of the original structure into the new building than if it had been totally demolished.

  • OCVFF Nov 2, 2010

    Wheel - it takes months for insurance companies and all parties involved in a fire like this to settle calims before decisions can be made as how to proceed. Once again, someone has to make negative comments not having a clue. Monday morning quarterbacks are a dime a dozen....... Thank goodness there is enough of this historic structure left to rebuild!!

  • WHEEL Nov 2, 2010

    So it's basically taken them seven monthe to decide to restore it to it's original use. They better not let this bunch supervise actual construction or no telling when it will be habitable again.

  • Gizmo the Great Nov 2, 2010

    Rev RB- It wasn't burned to the ground. The majority of the exterior of the courthouse remains intact- I drive by it almost every day!!

  • Adelinthe Nov 2, 2010

    They keep saying "restored" when the thing was burned to the ground.

    It's, therefore, "rebuilt" not "restored".


    But blessed there will be a courthouse in the circle again.

    God bless.


  • oldrebel Nov 2, 2010

    So glad to hear progress is being made on this restoration.