Marshall County Courthouse will be beautiful
Going into the Marshall County Courthouse, the sounds of construction work can be heard, people can be seen doing a variety of tasks and dust and construction dirt covers most surfaces.
After three years, the project to renovate the courthouse is ongoing. Outside, the scaffolding is slowly coming down and the fence surrounding the property will be removed.
When Marshall County residents finally get the chance to reenter the courthouse, there will be some differences.
One of the most significant is the northern door will no longer be used. Auditor Nan Benson said the primary entrance to the building will be the south side — the same one used by the majority of the crew.
As a person tours the courthouse now, shoring — a form of support — can be seen in a variety of locations.
“Eighty percent of that is done — our structural steel,” Benson said. “That has been a hold-up.”
Benson is confident the first and second floors will be beautiful as large windows have been opened to let the natural light in, which highlights the intricate molding seen in many locations.
“It’s going to be so pretty,” she said.
The paint colors for the interior were chosen to be warm and will be the same. One floor will not have a different paint palette than the others.
“There were cool tones and the warm tones will go with the wood,” she said. “They’re trying to do the accent colors of the wood to match pictures they found from the Historical Society from the 1920s and 1930. A deep navy color will be the accent. A lot of work has went into colors.”
Even though the election department has been relocated to the former fire station, the courthouse will feature an election office, Benson said.
The county attorneys will be given a more direct path to the courtrooms. They will not have to walk through the general area of the public, which Benson said is a security measure.
“They won’t ever have go out unless they’re leaving the building,” she said.
Inside the grand courtroom, piles of technology — both to keep and to recycle — are sitting on floors and tables and chairs are stacked together. Nearby, cells for prisoners waiting for their day in court are being installed.
“Before we only had one room,” she said.
Another added security feature are key fobs on a lot of the doors. In order to gain entry into many rooms, such as the accounting department, a person will need a small plastic disc to wave in front of a sensor. Otherwise, the public will be restricted to areas such as the entry of the treasurer’s department and the recorder’s office.
On the first floor, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors will have their own meeting room. Plus, each supervisor will have his own office, and they will be next to each other. By giving each supervisor an office, there is less of a chance of them talking about county matters in a quorum without the public present. In front of the supervisors offices, residents will encounter Shari Coughenour who will have an area set up.
As Benson walks through the building and the construction, and she points out little details which are overlooked by the public, there is excitement and overwhelming pride as she watches the Marshall County Courthouse be put back together again . . . and she waits for the task to be complete.