Creating a single point of entry at the Pulaski County Courthouse won’t wait until a large-scale renovation project. Starting next month, visitors to the courthouse will have to use the basement entrance on the west side of the building, following a decision by the county commissioners Monday.
Maintenance Director Mia Salyers requested the change. While a single entrance would eventually allow for a security checkpoint, her main concern was the condition of the stairs surrounding the building. “There’s two- and three-inch gaps in some of them,” Salyers explained. “The sidewalks are un-level.”
She said it’s become a safety concern, with four falls outside the courthouse in 2019. “None were because of the stairs, but they very well could be,” she added.
The commissioners also agreed to reserve five parking spaces plus two more handicap spaces on the south side of the courthouse for patrons’ use, forcing employees to park elsewhere. The idea is that if patrons are able to park close to the accessible ramp, it will lower the risk of falls.
Salyers felt that there’s ample parking on the west and north sides of the courthouse and east of the Justice Center for county employees. Others discussed the possibility of moving some of the Sheriff’s Department’s equipment out of the Justice Center lots, to free up space for employees to park.
County officials agreed to give courthouse users a month’s notice before the changes take effect. Renovation plans for the courthouse call for a different layout, with a secured entrance on the north side of the building on the main floor and an ADA-compliant entrance below. There have also been discussions about adding more parking as part of the renovations.