Renovations underway at courthouse

April 5, 2019

IRONTON — The 4th Street entrance to the Lawrence County Courthouse will be closed starting Thursday, April 4, and will be closed for more than a month, according to Summer Riley, administrative assistant to the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners.

The commissioners approved a renovation project that includes a new roof and gutters, improved lighting, a new elevator, refurbishing the copper courthouse dome, an upgrade to the heating and cooling system and repairing stonework and masonry on the courthouse building.

The main entrance to the three-story, 111-year-old courthouse will be closed up to five weeks while crews from Perfection Group of Cincinnati work on making repairs to the courthouse dome, Riley said.

The main elevator, used by the public, has been shut down for several weeks and is expected to be closed for another three or four weeks. That requires people going to the two courtrooms on the third floor to walk until the work is completed.

“Change is frustrating,” said Commissioner DeAnna Holliday. “No one likes to be inconvenienced. But it’s the people’s house, and work needs to be done. There’s a lot of history in that building.”

County officials are asking for patience and understanding from the public while the work is underway, Riley said. The public will have to use the 5th Street entrance to gain entry to the courthouse while the front entrance is closed.

The work started last summer and could take until the end of the year or longer to complete, officials said.

Commissioners agreed to spend $6.6 million last year to make improvements at the courthouse, to upgrade a building in Coal Grove to house 911 and Emergency Medical Services employees and set aside more than $1 million for a new jail.

The county agreed to borrow $4 million and use $2.78 million in one-time money received from the state to make the upgrades. No local tax money is being used for the project, Holliday said earlier.