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Historic Courthouse to get some much needed attention

When the county moved from the historic courthouse building on the square in Franklin into the new Judicial Center on Fourth Avenue in May 2004, there were no definite plans for the building that has served as the county’s conscience for since 1858.

At one point the city of Franklin considered using the building for as a temporary City Hall so the current one could undergo much needed renovations, but according to County Mayor Rogers Anderson the city declined the offer made by the Special Courthouse Committee.

“We are looking at the courthouse with an eye on the necessary improvements to use it for additional court and legal services space as we go down the road,” Anderson said. “We are not at capacity, yet, but there are days when we are packed over there. We know we’ll need it in the future.”

Ron Crutcher of The Parent Company is looking at options to make a secure extension to connect the courthouse to the Judicial Center, commission Chairman Houston Naron said.

The Judicial Center was built with the ability to add three to five courtrooms on the east side of the building, Naron said.
“The connection will delay the need for the expansion.”

It will take two years to renovate all three floors of the courthouse building and upgrade the facility making it ADA compliant and creating office space for county-related agencies, according to Naron.

“We’re going to gut the building from the foundation up, but the façade will stay the same,” Naron said. “The historic courtroom will be preserved. We are committed to making that space a first-class facility.”

District Attorney Ron Davis, the last occupant in the building, will be moving his offices in November, Anderson said, “So we will have to work around him for awhile.”

Naron said the courthouse committee will meet this week to review the concepts Crutcher was charge with developing before final decisions are made.

Posted on: 7/2/2006


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