The third floor of the Starke County Courthouse may undergo renovation efforts next year.
Starke County Commissioner Kathy Norem told her fellow commissioners Monday night that she met with John Kirk from engineering firm DLZ and Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall to go over a proposed list of upgrades created by Judge Hall.
Proposed upgrades include remodeling four restrooms on the third floor, new flooring throughout, repairs to the jury room walls, and new wall covering for the small courtroom as well as painting and new lighting. For the large courtroom, new jury seating would be featured as well as gallery seating, a new bench for the judge, new seating and tables for attorneys, new lighting, customized draperies for the windows, technology upgrades, and additional security cameras.
With research of the budget, Commissioner Norem indicated that the county could support the project with an estimated cost of $400,000 without raising taxes.
“That courthouse is our treasure,” stated Norem. “It’s on the National Historic Register. We have got to put the money into it. We don’t want to be sitting here like Pulaski County is wondering if we’re going to spend thousands to tear it down and people are up in arms. We have to put money into that courthouse.”
They hope to discuss it with the council during their joint meeting on Monday, Aug. 19 and get it out to bid by the end of the year with the project to begin at the start of 2020.
The commissioners did unanimously approve a motion to move ahead with the project.