George County courthouse renovation almost finished - - The News for South Mississippi

George County courthouse renovation almost finished


In George County, history is being preserved with a look back on the past, and an eye toward the future. The county courthouse, built in 1911, is getting a major makeover. The building is on the national register of historic places. Because of that, certain guidelines have to followed.

For county supervisors, this is the culmination of years of planning.  

"I love to look at history and I live to see things preserved," Supervisor Kelly Wright said. "And this also is being preserved in a way that makes it user friendly for the folks of the county that use this building."  

The folks who use it now get better service. Chad Welford is the Circuit Clerk.  

"With the new office, we're more efficient. We've got more room for customers to come in, both with absentee ballots. Especially in this last election, it gave us the needed space so customers didn't have to wait out in the hallway and stuff like that," Welford explained.  

Of course, county officials and citizens are very pleased with what's going on with these renovations, but so are the people who are actually doing the work. The reason why is they're taking part in a piece of history. 

Mike Duke is a renovation contractor.  

"Well, we like to be a part of history and historic rebuilding, and we like to do a safe job for the contractors to work off our scaffolding and everybody go home at night," Duke said. 

The top of the building is the most eye catching. There's a reason for that, according to Community Development Director Kenny Flanagan.  

"That red dome up there really is a signature piece of this courthouse and the tile now back on top of there, it is the original tile and came from the same clay pit as a hundred and one years ago," Flanagan said.  "It has had the wow factor since the moment the tiles started going up." 

County officials hope that wow factor will last for another hundred years.

The total cost for the renovation was about $700,000, with half of the funding coming from grants and the other half from the county. Officials say the job should be finished by the end of the year.

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