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Courthouse under construction

Demolition inside the historic Pike County courtroom and preparation for the 5,600 square foot addition to the building are underway. Until construction is complete, all court proceedings will be held at the Professional Learning Center at 7450 Highway 19 south as provided by the Pike County board of education. All other courthouse offices will remain open in their current locations during the initial phases of construction including the tag office, registrar’s office, probate office and office of the superior court clerk. ’The first thing we’re doing is interior work in the upstairs part of the courthouse, which involves working on the walls and floors,’ said county manager Bill Sawyer. ‘We’re mainly getting rid of the things we don’t need, like walls, stucco and old carpet.’ A moving truck was parked in front of the courthouse March 7 as furniture from the courtroom was transferred to the temporary location for court proceedings. Superior court clerk Carolyn Williams said the first court hearings outside the historic courtroom were held Monday, March 12 at the school building. In certain cases when special court proceedings are set quickly, such as in juvenile court hearings, they may need to be held in the commissioner’s office meeting room. ’The school’s been very gracious in letting us have whatever we need to hold court there,’ she said. ‘The room is all set up and ready for court. We’ll hold criminal, civil, juvenile and probate court proceedings there.’ Sawyer said work on the building’s 30-foot addition at the north end of the courthouse should begin in about two weeks. ’We’ve got to move a transformer about 30 feet back from the north side of the courthouse to give us the power we need for the addition,’ he said. ‘That should happen by about the 23rd of this month. The courthouse will be closed that one day while we’re doing the electrical work.’ He said some unknown issues have been uncovered, like load bearing walls in areas not expected, but meetings are held frequently so construction is moving cautiously but quickly.

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