County set to take renovations upstairs

County set to take renovations upstairs

Upgrades will bring 21st century to upstairs courtroom at county courthouse

Now that the courthouse is painted and the downstairs renovations are completed, Crittenden County is planning to turn its attention to the upstairs.

Justice Lisa O’Neal, who serves on the Quorum Court’s buildings committee, said they intend to start renovating the “red carpet” or older upstairs courtroom next.

Plans call to rip up the old red carpet and replace it with the same carpeting in the Quorum Court chamber, paint, change the lighting, and cleanup the antique woodwork.

“We’re about to do some modifications upstairs in the courtrooms,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal said they will also be upgrading the bathrooms, repainting the jury room, and adding new flat screen TV’s to the courtroom and jury room.

“We’re trying to get it some lipstick so that it will look better,” O’Neal said.

Justice Vickie Robertson asked why they were installing TVs in the courtroom.

“You say we’re putting flat screens in the jury room and in the courtroom?

Why?” Robertson inquired.

O’Neal said currently the TV has to be wheeled into the courtroom on a push cart.

“When the lawyers are up there and they are showing their testimony on a screen, we are trying to get it up there in a permanent situation so they don’t have to roll the TV in,” O’Neal said. “It’s not the best scenario having to go back and forth. And that is something in their line item (budget).”

“So we’re just paying for the building itself?” Roberston

asked. “Yes,” O’Neal said. The county recently replaced the windows at the courthouse and painted the

building thanks to a $96,000 grant. Over the last five years the county has spent about $250,000 sprucing the building up.

Every office on the first floor has been remodeled as well as the Quorum Court meeting room.

The county also got bids to replace the windows on the east side of the county office building, which is also undergoing renovations.

“Everything we’re doing is just cosmetic,” added County Judge Woody Wheeless.

The courthouse was built in 1911 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The cost for the upstairs courtroom renovations is about $100,000.

“We’re doing a lot,” O’Neal said. “We’re really proud of what we have accomplished.”

By Mark Randall