Find ways to invest wisely in future of Warren County Courthouse

Published 9:25 am Friday, January 31, 2020

Whoever designed and built the current Warren County Courthouse was in a no-win situation. Just look across Cherry Street at the iconic Old Courthouse Museum.

Those are some amazingly large shoes to fill.

While the Old Courthouse Museum is what Instagram dreams are made of, the current Warren County Courthouse is anything but. Then again, it was never designed to be iconic and dynamic, it was built to be functional and meet the needs of the time. In some ways it still does.

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But, the current courthouse requires upgrades, tender loving care and in some areas needs a facelift.

The previous Warren County Board of Supervisors invested in the building’s roof, but there are still problems.

There are offices that are far too cramped to effectively serve the public or the staff called to serve the public.

By no means is an upgrade to the current courthouse more pressing than the need to construct a new jail, but small investments in the courthouse facility and the grounds around the facility are needed.

Hundreds of residents come to the courthouse every day to conduct one form of business or another. There are even more who are called to serve on juries and attend court or public meetings.

This facility is more than just wood, stone and concrete; it is a living building that must continue to grow and develop to meet the demands of today. And while there have been some investments made in the building, it remains well behind the curve of today’s technology and accessibility.

We understand there are only so many tax dollars to spread around and spending money on the courthouse might not seem the most popular of choices, given the other items far more pressing for the Board of Supervisors.

All we ask is to evaluate what should be done to bring the courthouse along and then develop a plan that details wise and efficient investments moving forward.

The Warren County Courthouse is at the center of our county, both in where it is located and what it means to those who are blessed to live here. It should reflect the type of community we are and hope to be.